(OPE-L) Re: indirect labor, the real wage, and the production of surplus value

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Wed Nov 19 2003 - 09:22:39 EST

Mike L asked:

>          More significant, though, are the unanswered questions--- what is
> the logic behind assuming the real wage constant, what are the conditions
> necessary for this assumption to hold and what is its implication?

When the real wage is held constant by assumption it is for the purpose
of  presenting the theory of surplus value in its simplest and least complex
form.  The implication of this assumption is that, at a later stage in the
presentation, it must be dropped.  I.e. any category that is essential to
the subject matter of capitalism which is  'given'  by assumption at one
stage of the presentation must be explained more concretely at a later
stage (this is the point that I made previously about the "role of givens
in Marx's theory" when addressing Fred's interpretation of _Capital_).

Conditions necessary for a constant real wage include a constant
MELT,  SNLT, and standard of needs.  For human beings, though, to
have constant needs assumes that we are not human beings (!) since
the needs of human beings, socially understood and constructed, change
over time.

In solidarity, Jerry

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