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

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 09:43:11 EST

Mike L wrote:

> What does the composition of capital have to do with Marx's 
> discussion of the theory of relative surplus value in Vol. I, Ch. 13? 

It has to do with whether real wages will rise when there is an increase
in productivity.

>        I have no difficulty in seeing the relevance of changes in TCC. 
> That, in fact, is my point in asking people to distinguish between the 
> case of productivity increases that drop from the sky (Vol I, Ch13) 
> and those that occur through the displacement of workers by machines. 
> Specifically, what I have argued in the book is: 'The basis, in short, for 
> relative surplus value is not the growth in productivity.... Only an increased 
> degree of separation among workers initiated by the introduction of machinery 
> ensures that productivity will rise relative to the real wage ' (115).

Yes,  but I think it is also fair to say that an increase in productivity is an
*expression*  of the increase in relative surplus value.  

What do you think of the following proposition?  When there isn't a given 
real wage, relative surplus value  becomes _relative_ in the following sense:  
if real wages increase at a rate equal to the rate of growth of productivity then 
(additional) relative surplus value doesn't emerge since necessary labour time 
as a proportion of the total working day has grown and there is thus no increase 
in surplus labour time and hence no (additional) relative surplus value. (this was 
the meaning of a somewhat cryptic 1-line post I sent on 11/12).

In solidarity, Jerry

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