[OPE-L:3170] socially-necessary labor time

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sat, 28 Sep 1996 05:40:33 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

Andrew K wrote near the end of [OPE-L:3168]:

> A labor-hour is a labor-hour is a labor-hour, and in Marx's
> theory, and hour of labor always adds the same value (in labor-time terms).

While a labor-hour is a labor-hour is a labor-hour (and a rose is a rose
is a rose), this doesn't mean that that an "hour of labor always adds the
same value".

What is missing from the above is the concept of *socially-necessary*
labor time.

[Putting aside the question of skilled and unskilled labor and accepting
the stipulation that value is created in production and not exchange],
doesn't what becomes socially-necessary labor time *change* historically?

If that is the case, then shouldn't we include the *possibility* that
there can be a change in the value created by an hour of
[socially-necessary] labor *WITHIN* a production period (*even if*
ordinarily such changes occur over a longer time horizon]? That is, can't
there be a change in what is understood as socially-necessary labor time
within a production period?

In OPE-L Solidarity,