[OPE-L:3329] RE: accumulation of capital revisited

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 9 Oct 1996 02:58:26 -0700 (PDT)

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Andrew K wrote in [OPE-L:3326]:

> Paul wrote: "If v were 0 then there would be no incentive for capitalists to
> accumulate constant capital. It would obviously be cheaper to throw
> away their machines and have all the work done by hand. The assumption
> of free labour power undermines the premise of accumulation."
> None of this is obvious to me. What about sabotage, slowdowns, strikes,
> sitdowns, and other S'es? Machines are used to bring an ahuman, "objective"
> discipline to the labor process, and the subjection of the worker to this
> discipline. This incentive to substitute dead labor for living is *also*
> present when v = 0, but since it (this particular incentive) is
> independent of wages, it is most clearly seen when v is set equal to 0.

I. Consider a hypothetical capitalist economy in which there are
wage-earners and capitalists. Now assume that wage-earners = 0. Huh?

II. Having done (I), stipulate that capital takes the form of c and v.
Now assume v = 0. Huh?

III. Consider what would happen if wage-earners went on strike or did
other S's.

A) what wage-earners? [see (I)];

B) would capitalists discipline workers by substituting dead labor
for living labor? Given the assumption of v = 0, workers would have
no possible reason to be wage-earners (why work for free?) and
capitalists would have no incentive to discipline wage-earners
(what wage? what wage-earners? what discipline? what capital?
what capitalists?).

In Solidarity,