[OPE-L:5686] more productive labor counts are more intense labor

Francisco P. Cipolla (cipolla@SOCIAIS.UFPR.BR)
Thu, 6 Nov 1997 19:40:17 -0300 (WDT)

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In Capital, Chapter XII, V.I (International Publishers) Marx gives an
example in which by virtue of introducing a new method of production an
individual capitalist is able to double its production to 24 units of use
value while all others continue to produce only 12 with the same amount of
labor. This individual capitalist's unit value, or individual value is 9
pences as against a social value of 12 pences. Marx says: the more
productive labor counts as more intense labor. This is because his product
can be sold at a value above 9 pences. It can count as more intense labor
because it can command more than its individual value. However, depending
on market conditions the more productive firm will sell at 10 or 10,5 or
maybe 11, or even at 9,5. Who knows! What is curious here is that the more
productive labor counts as more intense labor by a rate determined by how
much the market can absorb of the product! That is, counts as more labor
to the extent that the demand can absorb the total product. What
determines how much more intense it counts for is social need. But social
need here can be extended or contracted by variations in price. It seems
that 'how much more intense' it counts for is left undetermined.