- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Well....not in the Barry White sense

Posted by: David ( USA ) on March 04, 19100 at 12:29:37:

In Reply to: Owning labor-power = 'loving' labor-power? posted by Stoller on March 03, 19100 at 23:34:16:

: David: To own something is the best way to protect it.

: MDG: Good for you about that dog. That's a great story. Now, to continue arguing with you: I'd say the best way to protect something is to love it.

: : The two are inseperable. You may love something, but to protect it from people who do not love it, you must had ownership of it--at least in this culture. When you have ownership of something you can legally protect it and have recourse in a court of law against those who violate it.

: This is a ridiculous claim when we consider the commodity called labor-power. 'To own labor-power is the best way to protect it'---how's that sound? LIke an advertisement for slavery at best!

: Once labor-power is sold, it can never return to the laborer. The capitalist takes that labor-power and, after valorizing his / her capital, realizes the constituent parts constant capital (machines, materials, etc.), variable capital (wages) and surplus-value (the value created by labor-power OVER what labor needs to survive). Thus, workers create the very thing that enslaves them: the means of production that are owned by the capitalist minority.*

Well, I am going to tread softly here, as I have learned in the past, Barry tends to jump out of thin air at the mention of the LTV being slightly wrong.
However, I do not think that capitalists own labor power. I believe a more accurate description would be to say that they have the ability (means) to employ that labor power. The labor power belongs to the worker, they can choose not to lease their labor, the result is that they don't earn money and consequently go hungry.

: _______________
: * '[T]he utilization of a commodity (as capital) is proportional not to the amount of labor it contains, but to the extent to which it commands the labor of others, gives power to over more labor of others than it itself contains' (Marx, Theories of Surplus-Value volume two, Progress Publishers 1968, p. 397).

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