Re: (OPE-L) Re: Unproductive Labour and the Two Department Model

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Tue Nov 25 2003 - 04:55:52 EST


-----Original Message-----

An interesting thread, but I am puzzled by Paul C's implicit definition
of productive labour:
> Paul:
> Who benefits from the labour spent on advertising and in finance?
> It is pretty clearly not the classically defined productive
> working class, and as such it looks like exploitation to me.
[Michael Williams] How does this reconcile with the key characteristic
of productive labour in CMP: that it is productive of surplus-value
(which is, of course, based on exploitation)?


This follows from my posts earlier this year where
I have argued that for labour to be productive of
surplus value it must be in a sector that directly
or indirectly feeds into the wage bundle. The point
being is that only in these cases do improvements
in productivity produce relative surplus value.

Thus in a 3 department model, with I= means of prod
II= workers consumption, III= all other products
one can see from the reproduction equations that 
if we assume uniform wage rates and working days
across the economy then  the size of the output 
of dept III is entirely determined in sectors I and II, 
since we have under simple or extended reproduction:
total sv      dept III
s1+s2+s3   >=  c3+v3+s3

It is clear that no technical change in dept III
can increase the mass of sv.

The labour of advertising since it does not enter
into the real wage ( output of dept II ) must
fall into dept III and be paid for out of the
surplus raised in depts I and II.

The productivity of depts I and II determine the
potential size of dept III which is parasitic on them.
The big increases in productivity of industry in
the 2nd half of the 20th century led to substantial
rise in the size of sector III, since only part
of the gain in productivity was realised as higher
real wages, a large part went as more surplus value.

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