[OPE-L:3555] Re: Productive and Unproductive Labour

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 20:36:05 -0800 (PST)

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A reply to P. Cockshott's ope-l 3552.

Paul wrote:
"My point is that there would be no point spending anything on repression if
wages were zero, It would always be profitable to reduce repression costs
because, whatever the reduction in intensity this brought about could be more
than compensated at zero cost by using more workers. Thus rather than
pay money for machinery to reduce repression costs, simply employ more
workers for nothing."

OK, let's discuss this point. You want me to produce evidence, but what
evidence do you have that supports these claims?

Here is some evidence against them:

Workers actually advance their labor to capital, as you've recently noted.
They are paid *after* doing the work and because they did the work. If they
do not work, they will not get paid, so their v will equal zero. Yet
capitalists incur repression costs.

When workers go on strike, they do not get paid. Their v = 0 to the firms
against which they strike. Yet capitalists very willingly incur costs in
order to prevent the strikes and break the strikes.

I took a poll. I asked whether, if one didn't like the nature of the work,
and one wasn't going to be compensated now or in the future, one would do any
work if one wasn't forced to do so. 1000f the sample answered no. A
typical reaction was that I must have been asking a trick question, because
the answer was so obvious.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Andrew Kliman