[OPE-L:2348] Re: Chapter 5 and Marx's method

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Fri, 24 May 1996 01:22:20 -0700

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Gil, appropos a remark of MP
>It strikes me that this supports my interpretation, which is to treat labor
>power as a capacity to labor (from which labor is problematically extracted)
>rather than as a commodity. If labor power is understood to be a commodity
>by definition, there is no basis for such "endless struggle"--indeed, the
>phrase has no meaning, just as "endless effort to make celery a vegetable"
>would have no meaning. Gil

Paul C

I agree with the direction that you have been arguing Gil.
What dimensions would you assign to labour and labour power?

Conventionally one counts labour as person hours, and since power
is the ability to deliver work per unit time, this would imply that
labour power was measured as labour per unit time. Since

labour = persons x hours

we must have

labour-power = labour / hour = persons

so labour power must be measured in person-equivalents, in terms
of the number of workers of average ability required to complete
a task.
Paul Cockshott