[OPE-L:3848] Re: productive and unproductive labour

Iwao Kitamur (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 07:03:26 -0800 (PST)

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Chai-on Lee <conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr> wroteF

>If we assume a capitalist repaired his machine (if the cost is not above the
>social average) by calling a service man, the repairing cost added to the
>price of his products would not contain a surplus-value corresponding to it.

In this case, the service man as a self-employed worker (forget the problem
of duplicated economy here!) simply represents value of her/his reparing labor,
in my understanding.

>If it cost $10, then the price would be marked up only by $10, not by more
>than $10. When the capitalist employs a skilled man to repair his machine,
>it should cost less than $10. Then he can save some money as much as it
>costs less than $10. This, however, cannot be called a surplus-value.

I hardly understand why we may not call the difference a surplus value.
In your example, the employed skilled worker is "under wage labour - capital
relation" and adds $10 worth value to the product through reparing the machine.
If the worker is paid $9 as her/his wage, why aren't we able to call the difference
$1 a surplus value? To my eyes the difference occurs from the wage labor -
capital relation.
In your understanding, can we say that surplus value is produced only when some
capitalist employs a worker and let her/him work for other capitalists?

in solidarity,