Re: [OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] what is irrational in the functioning of capitalism?

From: Dogan Goecmen (Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM)
Date: Tue Nov 28 2006 - 06:21:48 EST

In einer eMail vom 28.11.2006 12:12:14 Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt  

---  Nicola Taylor <nmtayl@YAHOO.COM.AU> wrote:

>  ---------------------------------
> Goecmen wrote:
> "The  aim of capitalism is to produce as many wage
> labourers as possible and  put them on employment to
> exploit."
> Martin  replied:
> "The aim of the capitalist entrepreneur, I  believe,
> is
> accumulation of capital. Through this tendency,  more
> areas of human society has historically been
>  subsumed
> in a wagelabour relation over time. Ricardo was one
>  who made the accumulation of capital modus very
> explicit in his  Principles. I don't see that the
> ratio
> of wage  labourers-population is really as important
>  though".
Actually, I do not understand why  "labor" is
particularly important in the context of production  of
profit. Do we think that "surplus" cannot be produced
without labor?  But why can't we imagine a system of
production completely operated by  robots? In this
case, why can't we imagine the system producing  a
"surplus" and a market with prices of commodities with
a rate of  profits to boot. The question is, can we
make a logical claim that a system  of production
without labor will not be able to produce "surplus".
If  not, then there is a serious problem with Marx's
concept of "surplus  value". Cheers, ajit sinha
Ajit, surplus value theory is not unique to Marx. Rather it is one of the  
most central categories of political economy. If it was possible to produce  
value without labourers capitalists would have not employed workers at all. Your  
rhetorical question implies that production can take place without human 
beings.  If this is what you mean, this a science fiction. Regards, Dogan

> I agree  with Martin that the individual entrepreneur
> is concerned only with  capital accumulation - or
> from
> his/her perspective, making  money returns that
> exceed
> costs.  I also agree with  Martin that the
> capitalist's
> concern is rational in that  'money profit' is
> necessary for the successful reproduction of  the
> firm
> in a capitalist system.  Now, to see how  capitalist
> rationality fosters a reserve army of the  unemployed
> one could consider, for example, the Nike
>  Corporation.
>  Desperate workers in Indonesia consitute a  huge
> reserve army of the unemployed, from whom Nike can
> pick  and choose wage labourers.  In Indonesia, those
> 'lucky' enough to  get a job are willing to work very
> long hours in appalling conditions  for very low
> wages.
>  Nike workers, however, are not the  buyers of the
> product, which is primarily sold in high-wage
>  countries (where employment is also relatively
> higher).  Further,  in high-wage countries the Nike
> corporation uses advertising  techniques to increase
> demand (hence prices) for their products.  These
> efforts to keep wages low and prices high have a
> further  effect in that Nike shares may be seen by
> speculators as a worthwhile  punt. The result is that
> Nike successfully reproduces (and  partially
> finances)
> itself.
> For the individual  capitalist/corporation, then,
> wage
> labour is merely a means to  an overriding end
> (capital
> accumulation).  If we accept  this end as rational
> *in
> so far* as it is necessary for  capitalist
> reproduction, then the incomplete subsumption of
>  labour under a wage system is also rational *to the
> extent* that it  assists firms to increase monetary
> returns and reproduce  themselves.
> Nicky
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