[OPE-L:4748] Re: the determination of real wages---- and a puzzle

Paul Zarembk (zarembka@acsu.buffalo.edu)
Sat, 12 Apr 1997 14:29:12 -0700 (PDT)

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How can you disagree with the final sentence Michael writes below? You
deeply respect Althusser. Althusser asserts that class struggle is at
the center of Marx's thought.


Paul Zarembka, supporting the RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY Web site at
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka, and using OS/2 Warp.

On Sat, 12 Apr 1997, Michael A. Lebowitz wrote:

> In message Fri, 11 Apr 1997 01:29:49 -0700 (PDT),
> Ajit Sinha <ecas@cc.newcastle.edu.au> writes:
> > The question is this: did Marx think that the trade union struggles would
> > lead to a rising real wages in the future? Michael Lebowitz's position is
> > that yes, Marx did think that, but did not discuss this issue in his
> > published or even his unpublished writings because he had planned to
> > write a whole book on this issue, which he never got around to writing.
> Actually, it was Engels' position that trade unions "tend to keep up and
> raise the standard of life" and that in "trades without organization of the
> work-people," the result is that "the work-people gradually get accustomed
> to a lower and lower standard of life. While the length of working day more
> and more approaches the possible maximum, the wages come nearer and nearer
> to their absolute minimum...." [Both quotes are from 1881 articles
> reproduced in W.O. Henderson, Engels: Selected Writings.] My position (which
> I think was Marx's) is that wages are determined by class struggle, which
> means they can go up or down even with the existence of trade unions (and,
> of course, are constrained at the top by the requirements for the
> reproduction of capitalist relations of production).
> in solidarity,
> mike
> ---------------------------
> Michael A. Lebowitz