RE: [OPE] "Parasitism"

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Tue Feb 24 2009 - 17:02:32 EST

An increase in the intensity of labour is, I would have thought,
absolute surplus value since it is equivalent to a lengthening of the working day.

An increase in productivity only increases relative surplus value if
it reduces the necessary labour time. To do this it must enter directly
or indirectly into wage goods. Thus labour which does not enter into
wage goods can not reduce necessary labour time and can not produce
relative surplus value.

Paul Cockshott
Dept of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
+44 141 330 1629

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of GERALD LEVY
Sent: Tue 2/24/2009 1:31 PM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: RE: [OPE] "Parasitism"

Paul C:


Relative surplus value can be increased be increasing the productivity of labor

through technological change or by increasing the intensity of labor. In either case,

this can arise without a corresponding decrease in the prices of means of

consumption for workers. Of course, it _can_ lead to this but it doesn't

 _necessarily_ have that effect. This increase in output/worker/hour increases

the proportion of the working day required for necessary consumption and thereby

extends surplus labor time. Just because it takes workers less time to produce the

total output doesn't mean that their customary standard of living will increase.


In solidarity, Jerry




> Relative surplus value arises from the cheapening of the elements of
> consumption measured
> in labour cost relative to a fixed working day.
> Absolute surplus value arises when the working day is extended beyond
> the pre-industrial norm.

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Received on Tue Feb 24 17:10:34 2009

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