[OPE-L:197] RE: the book on wage labor

Michael Perelman (michael@ecst.csuchico.edu)
Tue, 3 Oct 1995 18:25:25 -0700

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> Paul
> -----
> To measure the latter, it has obviously to be done in natural
> units of time, which as such, already abstracts from the
> concrete form of the labour. As such its study starts with
> Babbage in his Economy of Machinery, proceeds with
> Taylor in the machine shop of the Midvale Steel Company
> and his successors like Charles Bedaux, whose unit of
> abstract labour the B was defined as ' A "B" is a fraction of
> a minuit of work plus a fraction of a minuit of rest, always
> aggregating to unity, but varying in proportion according to
> the nature of the strain'.

This might work if labor were purely phsyical. Otherwise, I have
to remain respectfully unconvinced.
> There is nothing impossible in principle about such
> measurement, indeed, the science of systematic
> exploitation had depended on it for years. But within the
> capitalist social order such computations are restricted to
> the factory, the comparative statistics necessary for a social
> calculus of labour time do not exist. But this is not to say
> that they could never be produced under some future social
> order.

Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 916-898-5321 E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu