[OPE-L:5431] Reduction of skilled labour

Michael Williams (Michael@mwilliam.u-net.com)
Thu, 4 Sep 1997 07:25:39 -0700 (PDT)

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The following quote would seem to be of some relevance to the thread
of some time ago concerned with whether the enhanced
value-productivity of skilled labour was systematically related to
the labour required for its education:

"According to that [viz Carey's notion that landowners are always
underpaid because rent is never sufficient to compensate for all the
resources embodied in the land since time immemorial] each individual
labourer would have to be paid according to the work which it cost the
entire human race to evolve a modern mechanic out of a savage."

It is clear, IMO, from the tone, that Marx thinks this implausible.

He goes on a few lines later to make the point that skilled labour
produces more use-values, not necessarily more Value:

"True enough, the increase in the productive power of labour, so far
as it does not imply an additional investment of capital-value,
augments in the first instance only the quantity of the product, not
its value, except insofar as it makes it possible to reproduce more
constant capital with the same labour and thus to preserve its
Marx, Karl (1893) *Capital: a critique of political economy*, vol.
II, *The Process of Circulation of Capital*, London, Lawrence &
Wishart: 360
"Books are Weapons"

Dr Michael Williams
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