[OPE-L:1945] Re: Accumulation of capital and Imperialism

Paul Cockshott (wpc@clyder.gn.apc.org)
Thu, 25 Apr 1996 00:21:34 -0700

[ show plain text ]

Paul Z asks
When Marx writes about production of absolute or relative surplus value
he means the class STRUGGLE by capital to extract more surplus value
from the working class. Are you asserting that capital MAY or MAY
NOT want to achieve more surplus value (whether they achieve it or not is
separate question of answered mainly by the working class)? If so, I
would think you are completely departing from Marx (which of course is
right to do so).

Paul C
Production of relative surplus value has occured if
the introduction of technical change has succeeded in
diminishing the value of labour power. There is, I agree
a strong tendancy for capitalism to introduce labour
saving inovations, whether this succeeds in producing
relative surplus value depends upon the extent to which
the real wage rises or falls. If the real wage rises
at the same rate, then there is no change in the rate
of surplus value and thus no new relative surplus value.

There are certainly many periods in which relative
surplus value is produced, but, there are also some
in which the share of the value product going to
labour remains relatively constant.

When I say absolute surplus value is a precondition,
I mean in the logical not historical sense, certainly
it goes on today.