Re: [OPE] labor tokens and efficiency

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Fri May 08 2009 - 04:47:11 EDT

> * Unless there are additional stipulations, there are also
> incentives for workers not to increase their productivity since they
> know that one hour's labor always equals one hour's labor regardless
> of their intensity of work.
Well one would have to take into account Marx's stipulation that more
intense labour within a given trade or profession counts for more than
less intense labour. If there is some objective way of measuring this,
then a work group of say 10 people could decide how they wanted to divy
up the 350 hours labour points for a weeks work at a nominal 35 hours
between them. If every one agreed that citizen smith was working the
equivalent of 10 hours a day and citizen Jones only 4 a day, then a
transfer could be made without it violating the labour theory of value.
> * There is also an incentive for individual workers to increase the
> amount of hours worked since workers know that the more hours they
> work the more compensation (tokens) they will receive. Is it really
> desirable from a socialist perspective to offer incentives to
> everyone to work more hours and take off less time for leisure and
> non-work related purposes? Such a system might, for example, encourage
> workers to continue to work on the job rather than take part in
> community meetings outside of the workplace; it might discourage
> workers' participation in some decision-making bodies.
Well that will not work for collectivities. If the Bright Red Star
collective wastes labour relative to the Purple Banner of Morning
collective, Bright Red Stars output will be marked at a higher labour
content and consumers will choose the product from Purple Banner.
> * There is an unstated ethic to such a system. "From each according
> to her abilities, to each according to her hours of labor" is
> a slogan which might find favor with those who embrace the
> Protestant work ethic. I see the possibility of a caste of "neo-
> Stakhanovites" emerging - the neo-Stakhanovites, unlike the originals,
> would not attempt to maximize labor intensity or be motivated by
> the perceived effect of their labor on the socialist project; they
> would attempt to maximize their working hours and would be motivated
> instead by a desire for an increase in individual wealth
> over the social average.

So what?

 Why is that detrimental to society?
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Received on Fri May 8 04:56:33 2009

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