RE: [OPE] "Parasitism"

Date: Wed Feb 25 2009 - 08:38:58 EST

> An increase in the intensity of labour is, I would have thought,
> absolute surplus value since it is equivalent to a lengthening of the working day.



Paul C;



I don't think so: it means a decrease in that fraction of the working day

(with the length of the working day constant) required for necessary labor time

and hence represents an increase in surplus labor time.

> An increase in productivity only increases relative surplus value if
> it reduces the necessary labour time. To do this it must enter directly
> or indirectly into wage goods.



The necessary labor time required to produce a commodity can go down

without that meaning that "it must enter directly or indirectly into

wage goods". See above: there was a reduction in necessary labor time but

that (an increase in the intensity of labor) doesn't _necessarily_ mean a direct

or indirect change in the cost of wage goods.



> Thus labour which does not enter into
> wage goods can not reduce necessary labour time and can not produce
> relative surplus value.


I think I've already showed above that the "thus" doesn't logically follow.



Furthermore, when you say that there is a direct *OR INDIRECT* change

in wage goods , what are the implications of this?



Assume for the moment that there are no barriers to entry and exit.

It follows that any surplus value produced in *ANY* capitalist branch of

production or sector (whether that branch or sector produces means of

consumption for workers, means of production, or LUXURY goods and

whether a "material product" is sold or a service) can have the INDIRECT

consequence of changing the labor requirements to produce means of

consumption for workers and hence, possibly, the VLP and the wage.



This follows from the fact that when the commodity product is sold, and

thereby surplus value is actualized, it takes the MONEY-form and (absent

those barriers to entry and exit) these monies can be invested in any

branch or sector. And, we would anticipate (using that same assumption)

that the monies will be invested in branches or sectors in which the

expected rate of profit (or rate of return on investment) is highest.

It therefore follows that you CAN NOT SAY that wage-labor employed

by capital for the production of luxury goods for non-workers will not

have the consequence of possibly indirectly changing the labor

requirements for the production of means of consumption for workers.

It's a matter of M - C - M'.



You could claim that in actuality there *are* barriers to entry and exit

in many branches of production. True, BUT there are also other developments

which express the underlying reality that I am referring to, most notably

the generalization of the corporate form with stock ownership and the

diversification of assets held by individuals in their portfolios. Corporations

themselves, as I have noted before, have become increasingly diversified

- this has been a trend for many decades and has become more and

more obvious and widespread among large firms, especially multinational

corporations. This means, in practice, that the same firm which produces

means of consumption for workers also often produces means of production

and luxury goods for non-workers: _within_ these firms monies are moved

to the subsidiary where the expected rate of return (RRI) is highest. Unlike

the situation in the mid-19th Century where firms were largely owned by

a single capitalist or a small group of partners, we have seen a _generalization_

of the stock form which means both that individual corporations are owned

by larger numbers of investors and that those investors can be able to, and

generally do, move their monies on stock markets in anticipation of the

highest RRI. Hence, you see the diversification of individual portfolios: indeed,

any investor who just invests in one firm/branch/sector is deemed to

be foolish ("all your eggs in one basket") - they increasingly find that they

_must_ diversify in order to spread their risk. For both corporations and

individual investors, it's basically _all_ about the movement from M - M'.

This is consistent with their inner logic to accumulate, accumulate.



In solidarity, Jerry




ope mailing list
Received on Wed Feb 25 08:42:35 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 24 2009 - 20:30:37 EDT