[OPE-L:6239] Re: value and the transformation of work

Leda Maria Paulani (paulani@usp.br)
Mon, 2 Mar 1998 19:13:47 -0300 (GRNLNDST)

Gerald Levy

The questions I was referring to in my last post takes as a basis of
discussion some pages of Marx in the Grundrisse in which he speaks on the
possible consequences of the fact that, because of its own logic, the
production of wealth (material wealth taked as a collection of uses
values) in capitalism would be progressively less dependent of the time of
work and more and more dependent of the force of the elements put in
movement during the time of work. In other words, in these pages Marx is
speaking of the increasing importance of the science as a mean of
production. Then, if you look to the contemporaneous world, these words
soud as prophecy. But this has serious consequences to Marx's theory of
value and Marx knew it. What Marx puts on in these same pages is
something linked to the force of value as a social form, i.e., something
linked to fetichism (this form would insist to remain despite the loss of
its "material" basis). In the paper I mentioned I deal with two types of
process that envolve changes in the role of work. One is the automation
of the process of production, that is, the increasing use of robots (in
these processes the labour force practically desappears); the other is the
change of the fordist-taylorist paradigm for the toyotist one. I
presented this paper in a Meeting of the SEP (Brazilian Society of
Political Economy) in June/96, but it is in Portuguese.

In solidarity

Leda Paulani