[OPE-L:2075] Re: May Day Greetings

Iwao Kitamura (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Sat, 4 May 1996 08:07:24 -0700

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Iwao [2061] explaining his speech on May Day:
>> I pointed the most serious problem related to that lies in the current
>> structure of japanese capitalism that continously creates excess of
>> monetary capital.

Jerry [2066]:
>I'm not exactly sure what you mean here. Does this relate to the question
>of fictitious capital? BTW, how was your speech received? [with
>thunderous applause, I hope].

I could not assure whether my speech was well undestood by the audience.
I received only two questions because time limited. Any audience was aware
of the relationship between the 'bubble economy' and the housing loan
companies problem, I believe. So I emphasized my hypothesis the bubble was
'created and destructed' by the continously growing excess of monetary capital.
This must relates to the question of fictitious capital as you pointed, and
my hypothesis is that excess of monetary capital is an expression of
un-solvable problem of contemporary capitalism as a stage.
If we proceed to post-Capital topics, I will expand this hypothesis of mine.
Partly I once posted this topic to marxism list last august.

Jerry [2066]:
>Given my explanation of the relation historically of May Day to the
>8-hour-day movement, I am somewhat surprised that you didn't mention the
>(un)employment effect of capital's drive to increase absolute surplus
>value and working class struggles to reduce the length of the workweek.
>I believe that topic connects with another thread on subjectivity
>(right, Massimo, Mike W., Mike L?).

Ah, I should have mentioned!
Struggle for the shorter workweek is an important part of class struggle,
indeed. But I doubt the relation between unemployment and the shorter
workweek and a slogan of 'work sharing'.

Iwao [2061]:
>> But as long as domestic labour remains as domestic,
>> it is not under capital - wage labour relation.

Jerry [2066]:
>Yes, but capital nonetheless benefits by the unpaid labor time of
>domestic laborers. How does that labor time enter into the customary
>social and moral element of the value of the commodity labor power?

I don't think that domestic labor has 'value' in our society. But the cost
of domestic laborers must enter into the value of the commodity labor
power as far as it is socially recognized as standard that reproduction of
this commodity requires them. Anyway this has to be settled as a result
of struggle.

Jerry [2066]:
>Will the wage rate *necessarily* decrease if domestic labor becomes
>(increasingly) wage-labor?

I should have said the value of the commodity labor power instead of
the wage rate. An extreme example: Suppose a capitalist society where
every family are formed by two persons and one of them is a wage worker
and another provides domestic labor. Living costs of each are equal C1.
If this is social standard, the value of the commodity labor power that the
wage worker provides is 2*C1. Then a commodity that replaces all domestic
labor appears and it costs C2. C2 is lower than C1 and all family purchase this
and the domestic laborers becomes wage workers. Then the living cost of a
family decreases to C1+C2 (<2*C1).

Jerry [2066]:
>I would like to have that discussion as well, but I'd like to know first
>what you understand the expression "inevitability" to mean in political

I thought you would raise this because of the recent discussion of
subjectivity. It is difficult to define inevitability in political economy in
general, I think. I'd rather question onto each concrete inevitability
of various motions in our society.

In OPE-L Solidarity,


Iwao Kitamura
mailto: ikita@st.rim.or.jp