[OPE-L:2393] Re: Alternative Concepts of Labor-Power

McGloneT@aol.co (McGloneT@aol.com)
Tue, 28 May 1996 11:26:13 -0700

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On Duncan's question of other ways to see "labor-power" in the Marxist
discourse: Labor-power can also be seen as the new collective power of
workers, which Marx describes as "cooperation." The cooperation of workers
under one factory roof becomes a new type of rival power to capitalist power
at the point of production (now labor-power is not the commodity it was in
the market) and makes it necessary for capital to discipline labor, --a
discipline which eventually takes the form of machinery. In one sense then,
I see "labor-power" outside of commodification as a new social force. The
distinction between labor as activity and labor power as commodity is one of
perhaps three core distinctions that are new with Marx. It seems to me that
the potential of labor to become free, universal self-activity challenges the
narrower basis capital imposes by commodification of "labor-power."--Ted