[OPE-L:3515] Re: Productive and Unproductive Labour

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Thu, 24 Oct 1996 02:09:39 -0700 (PDT)

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>*If* one is going to continue to maintain that the sum of values equal the
>sum of prices of production and *if* one recognizes that many capitalist
>firms systematically sell commodities at a price above their value (as
>above), then it seems to me that one then has to maintain that *other*
>commodities must be systematically sold *below* their value. If that is
>the case, then _which_ commodities are systematically sold below their
>value? Three possible candidates, among others, include:
> (1) commodities sold by independent commodity producers (if this were
> the case, *why* would we expect, except by assumption, that the
> sum of the value of commodities sold below their value in this
> sector would equal the sum of value of commodities sold above
> their value in the rest of the economy?);

Paul C:
I dont see a problem here. In what sense are you performing the sum?

If one views the independent and capitalist sectors trading with one
another then the loss to one has to be the gain to the other.

> (3) the commodity labour-power is consistently and systematically sold
> below its value. While, in the case of consumer goods that workers
> purchase with their wages, there is some reason to believe this to
> be the case if firms are marking-up the commodities that they
> sell in an effort to recoup for expenses on unproductive labor
> (as above), this presents a host of other analytical problems.

Paul C:
How and with respect to what benchmark can the totality of labour power
sell for less than its value, since its value is defined by the goods
that, under historical and moral limitations, are currently purchased
by workers.
Paul Cockshott