Marx's Law of Value scanned from The Weekly People December 11, 1971 Marx's Law of Value A fact constantly driven home by Daniel De Leon was that it is the workers who create all social values. This is because the measurement of wealth in terms of social labour-time (whose phenomenal economic expression is money) means that, under conditions of labour-displacing technical innovation, capitalist society tends toward a zero-sum situation in which any gains in income or real wealth must come at the expense of other economic agents, and in which it’s quite possible for aggregate purchasing power to decline (as it does under conditions of economic contraction). In Marx's time the capitalists just used their class power to lengthen the working day. As such they are examples of individual labour. چین: ریاستی اداروں کا ”بانڈ ڈیفالٹ“ ہنگامہ خیز دنوں کا پیش خیمہ, Argentina: Sobre el aporte solidario a las grandes fortunas, La Corriente Peronista Descamisados denuncia la desaparición de Amar Fayaz, USA – Il socialismo rivoluzionario e la lotta contro il presidente di Wall Street. It is quite likely that medieval peasants were bored on long winter nights. In practice capitalists will have to take account of the fact that the machine will probably be obsolescent and have to be scrapped before it is physically worn out, but the principle is clear. Meanwhile a garment worker in Milan machines a piece of cloth that began life as raw cotton in the field of a peasant in Pakistan. This is equivalent to about 1000 mathematicians working for their entire lifetimes." Mr. Moneybags, who is as yet only an embryo capitalist, must buy his commodities at their value and must sell them at their value; and nevertheless at the end of the process he must draw more value out of circulation than he puts into it at starting…This is the nut we have to crack!". In effect the twenty yards of linen is used as what he called the equivalent form. It had no single originator, but rather many different thinkers arrived at the same conclusion independently. With all the privatisation share give-aways under the Tories there are millions of workers with a few BT shares tucked behind the clock on the mantelpiece. For the system as a whole it's not a nuisance - it's a contradiction. We hear a lot about the "magic of the marketplace". Supply and demand, as Marx pointed out is just the executor of the laws of capitalism. When it enters into exchange, the use-value of the equivalent serves to measure the exchange value of the other. But now big business is trying to take back all the gains of past struggles. One response of textile and clothing companies in the rich countries to foreign competitors has been to make sure that, if they're paying you more than workers in Pakistan or El Salvador, they get more out of you. The system is unplanned. Microsoft's turnover (sales) was $19,747 million in 1999. This is understandable because from this very theory flow all the other conclusions of Marx, in particular that of the need to overthrow capitalism if we are to put to an end to all the contradictions of this unjust system which condemns millions of human beings to abject poverty, mass unemployment, periodic economic crises and wars. How does all this affect workers in rich countries such as the United States. The process by which people define and redefine themselves is the labour process. Smith critically explores and makes significant contributions to the debate surrounding Karl Marx's 'capitalist law of value' and its corollary, the law of the falling rate of profit.A powerful case is presented that capitalism has exhausted its potential to contribute to human progress. Let's see what this race does for the development of the system as a whole. The only thing both commodities have in common is that they are both objects of human labour. Karl Marx was born in Trier, in the German Rhineland, in1818. This is unpaid labour. He saved money by sacking loyal American operatives and 'downsizing' work to Mexico. (from Mike Cooley - 'Architect and bee'). As Keynes told the MacMillan Committee during the Great Depression, "If you are part of an international system, you can always improve matters by cutting wages more than your neighbour". American clothing bosses have cut costs by mechanising. If you have to beat the opposition, the best way is to sell the stuff cheaper. Very few on what passes for today’s ‘left’ wish to consider, much less accept, this assessment. "Last week we only worked for fifteen hours. In this case the rate of exploitation is more than 450%! Obviously all real labour is the labour of particular types of worker, whether maker of coats or bus driver. This is a tricky one to analyse in Marxist terms. Let me speak bluntly by way of conclusion. Marx begins that work with an examination of the surface appearance of use value and exchange value in the material act of commodity exchange and posits the existence of value (an immaterial but objective relation) behind the quantitative aspect of exchange value. 21st congress of Italian Marxists: an exceptional time to be a revolutionary! It is characteristic that the inspired apologists of the factory system can find nothing worse to say of any proposal for the general organisation of social labour, than that it would transform the whole of society into a factory." The first ballpoint pen was produced by the Reynolds International Pen Company in 1945. In fact if the slave was producing a commercial crop such as cotton or tobacco, the slave owner would have to put aside a part of his revenue to buy food for the slaves. Start studying Karl Marx. The bosses are always out to get that little bit more out of the workers. Proudhon is shown giving a speech in which he makes his famous declaration that “property is theft.”4 From the audience, Marx asks, “what kind of property, bourgeois property?” Pro… A big factory is likely to hire separate cleaning staff. "Indifference towards specific labours corresponds to a form of society in which individuals can with ease transfer from one labour to another, and where the specific kind is a matter of chance for them, hence of indifference. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The law of value analyses the circulation of commodities as an exchange of equivalents. It's because the bosses want to hang on to scarce skills. But why do they need to develop the capacity for thought? It just cannot explain the steady unremitting flow of new income into the pockets of the rich, as they sit at home and wait for the dividends to plop on to their doormats. Likewise the Coventry toolroom agreement recognises maintenance engineers as productive workers by cutting them in on any bonuses or piece work agreements. Moreover he saw these early faltering steps of the labour movement in gaining an improved standard of living through struggle as the necessary first stage in the process of self-emancipation of the working class. The conditions in the factory are not good. Most workers in the United States and the other rich countries did gain better wages and conditions - for a time. But don't get the idea Jack is basically on a wage. To assert that capitalism has reached its twilight phase is to say that it has long since reached a stage where the conflict between its forces and its relations of production has become acute. To be comparable, they must have some common property. For toiletries marketing is 14p for every £1 of sales, for soap 10p and for pharmaceuticals 8p. Now to the capitalist mode of production. It's equally obvious that Reynolds and his fellow capitalists were not using labour time calculations. Nobody thinks that the chocolate coating to a sweet adds any value apart from its cost for the capitalist who buys it. Worker and capitalist are the polar classes in modern society, because we work, because we have to make a living - we do not own the means of production. In the last analysis, such attitudes reflect the still hegemonic view that capitalism is – or can be made to be – a ‘rational’ system. Quite logically Lassalle contested that, since wages were fixed, trade union activity and strikes were a waste of time. Even so, it’s not difficult to understand that those few who hold significant property assets ‘earn’ their money primarily by getting others to perform labour on their behalf. In that case their price will be determined entirely by how much collectors are prepared to pay for them, by their utility. It is variable because it is part of the money capital, which is capable of yielding a surplus in the process of production. And here nothing is done in advance. And he makes sure there's a worker in place to do what's needed. The middle class in Marx's sense own their own petty means of production and, like us, they have to work. At a later stage, as we start weighing things regularly, we will probably ascribe a conventional measure to the lump of metal (for example ten kilograms). Their hard work, he said, is exploited … Scholars such as Joseph Schumpeter have cited Ibn Kha… You won't stop the bosses exploiting workers. Hey, Hey, FDA! But consider this: apart from those who subsist on state-funded social assistance or private charity, people possess money for two basic reasons – they either earn it through the performance of labour or they obtain it by virtue of their ownership of property. But the division of labour within the workplace is consciously planned by the boss. However Reynolds and the other market leaders had to drastically revise their notion of what that mark-up might be as they were confronted with the prospect of a full-scale price war in the 1940s, as the technology for producing ballpoints became standardised. Machinery just passes its value unchanged to the final product to the extent that it depreciates. The apparently random fluctuations in price given by supply and demand no more contradict the role of value as the central regulator of the system than the movement of waves up and down on the surface denies the concept of sea level - which does go up and down according to the pull of the tides. Actually Marx and Engels were scornful of contemporary theories of the 'iron law of wages' as was put forward by Lassalle, an opponent of theirs in the German labour movement. Microsoft employs 'only' 31,000 workers - though readers who know how the firm operates realise that plenty more are subcontracted into the global 'team'. Jack earned 9,571 times as much as the average Mexican employee. Since workers were usually paid by the day, the struggle over the length of the working day was a basic form of class struggle. Ricardo and Marx, on the other hand, resolved the value of a commodity into congealed labour time and then examined the struggle of the classes claiming to personify the factors of production over the value produced. That this necessity of the distribution of social labour in definite proportions cannot possibly be done away with by a particular form of social production but can only change the mode of its appearance, is self-evident. On those grounds alone, according to the reformist argument, it must be dismissed! Lina Rodriguez Meza, a clothing worker in New York explains. The sales effort squanders huge resources in modern capitalism. Karl Marx was the greatest champion of the labor theory of value. It does not determine its magnitude. What we are doing in assessing value is essentially the same. This, of course, is the prelude to 'proving' that Marx was wrong, or at least completely out of date. All the same, Marx insisted that this dynamism was destined to become ever more one-sided and that, in due course, capitalism would substantially exhaust its (always contradictory) role in promoting human progress. It costs a lot more to exploit the workers more. Marx and Engels mention the middle class, "The lower strata of the middle class - the small tradespeople generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants - all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which modern industry is carried on, and is swamped in competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production." Marx’s theory of labour-value is the indispensable foundation for explaining precisely those economic phenomena that non-Marxist economic thought (whether in its classical, neoclassical, Keynesian, post-Keynesian, monetarist/ neoliberal or institutionalist variants) has manifestly failed to explain or even to anticipate. whereRis the maximum rate of profits. General Electric is a conglomerate with a finger in all sorts of pies - though not, these days, electricity. It is taking us to the threshold of a society of abundance. And it is the product of large-scale capitalist production. Surplus value is $55, of which $1 goes to the immediate boss and $54 on Oxford Street rents and the pay of salespeople, who no doubt work very hard, but do not generate new values through their work. Why are positive rates of growth in productivity on a world scale accompanied by declining average rates of profit for productive capital? But the basic rate is so low. Critics of Marx say that's all out of date. Previous ruling classes in history have also perpetuated their dominance through a collective monopoly of the means of production. So they are certainly exploiting us more! All ruling classes in history have maintained themselves by exploiting the oppressed class. "When it's busy, we work up to sixty to sixty-three hours. In this mysterious financial institution the investment fund manager will muck around with ouija boards or throw darts at the shares pages of the 'Financial Times' - and buy shares for you. This is a revolutionary suggestion. The worker who makes the dress gets $12 back in wages. 1) "The transformation of money into capital is to be explained…in such a way that the starting point is an exchange of equivalents. This triggered a walkout of 150,000 weavers in Lancashire. Capitalism is mystifying to understand. 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