- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Must theory be so difficult to understand?

Posted by: MDG on December 14, 1999 at 16:23:21:

In Reply to: A note on productivity posted by Stoller on December 14, 1999 at 10:26:52:

: This principle, I believe, has as its greatest weakness the problem that the organic composition of capital (ratio of fixed & constant [raw materials and machinery] and variable [labor]) ITSELF determines productivity.

: Simply put, the exertions of the worker (even the 'hardest working' one) will still be greatly affected by the equipment he / she uses---which means that investment will have MUCH to do with how much work the worker does.

: To 'pay' this worker what he / she produces is but to 'pay' this worker for having the good (or bad) fortune of working WITH this, that, or the other raw materials and equipment (which, let us not forget, originates with the dead labor of others).

: More details here.

: So we see, MDG, what may initially appear obvious to a child is, in fact, more complicated than what meets the eye.

: Another reason theory is NECESSARY to the struggle.

I'm a fairly intelligent, well-educated individual, but a lot of the terminology you employ seems like so much gobbledygook to me. "Organic composition of capital?" What does that mean? Must I learn a new language (economics?). I'm willing to slog through this stuff, but my life is pretty busy already. I respectfully suggest that you try to rephrase this arcane and perhaps even archaic language in a clearer, more accessible form. I'm not a student anymore; my leisure time, which includes time to read, is unfortunately limited. Such is the life of a working stiff with a family, but if I'm challenged by your theory, both from a comprehension angle, and the time to learn it angle, then imagine the challenge it poses to the less educated, more overworked, working person. Life, as they say, is tough, so anything you can do to make this stuff easier would be a good deed.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup