[OPE-L:4403] Re: Mandel vs. Baran-Sweezy

Ajit Sinh (ecas@cc.newcastle.edu.au)
Mon, 17 Mar 1997 00:30:06 -0800 (PST)

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At 04:55 PM 3/15/97 -0800, Mike Lebowitz wrote:
For Marx, it was quite clear that real wages were
>determined by class struggle (which was a point he deemed unnecessary to
>explore further at the stage of the argument considering the nature of
>capital in general).

I would take this statement with a pinch of salt. In my reading of Marx,
i.e. reading the visible books and not the invisible books ;), it seems he
took the position that real wages, not in terms of per hrs. but in terms of
production periods like harvest period, were determined by socio-historical
conditions within which the proletariat in a particualr country or region
came into being. Moreover, the long term trend of wages were determined by
the ratio of employed over unemployed workers. The general rise and fall of
real wages over a business cycle was taken as general fluctuation of prices
around a gravitational point. The variable that is directly affected by the
class struggle in Marx is the length of the working day rather than the real
wages. Now, its relevance to the western capitalism in last 50 years or so
would be a separate issue of debate. Here we are only concerned with what do
we see in marx's writings.
cheers, ajit sinha