[OPE-L:5386] Re: [ANDREW K] Re:Luxuries in the New Solution

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Fri, 29 Aug 1997 07:33:10 -0700 (PDT)

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> Now imagine that in year 2, everything remains the same, except that bugs
> a lot of corn, so that the output of corn falls from 11 bushels to 8
> The rate of profit falls to -20%. The simultaneist unit value becomes a
> meaningless -2, and the simultaneist rate of exploitation computed by
means of
> it becomes a meaningless -200%. However, measuring the rate of
> in terms of the "surplus product," we get -2/1 which also equals -200%.
> may still look okay, since we have negative surplus-value and a negative
> of profit.
> But the workers are just as exploited as before. They worked just as
> received no more wages. The reason "profit" and the "profit rate" became

> negative had nothing to do with them, and nothing to do with any change
in the
> capital/labor relationship. It was caused by bugs. So simultaneism
> that profit is determined not only by surplus-labor but also by bugs and
> natural conditions.

But there is nothing strange about this. You have put forward an instance
in which there is negative production. The workers are not even materially
productive under these circumstances, far less productive of surplus
value. Thus they are not exploited, but have become drones living
off the fat of the land.

If labour is so employed as to produce less out than is put in,
then that labour is unproductive labour in the strongest possible
sense. How hard a person works is not by itself relevant
to whether they are exploited. A personal servant of Her Majesty
may work hard, but is not exploited in the capitalist sense.

It would have been better if the grain had been placed in storehouses
and not sown under these conditions.

Profit is certainly determined by natural conditions, but through
natural conditions determining whether there is:
1. Any net product
2. Sufficient net product to more than reproduce the workforce