- Capitalism and Alternatives -

no no, it was a press set up

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on May 25, 1999 at 17:11:24:

In Reply to: Dope. posted by Red Deathy on May 25, 1999 at 13:16:24:

Marx discusses that in Grundrisse- productive labour is that which makes money in and of itself,

I think Marx really missed the boat on this one, by not understanding what managers do as a value adding role (whihc, basically is organising activity and resources so as to achieve an efficient end - which is nowhere near as easy as it sounds (does it sound easy?) and takes people alot more capable than many managers actually are. The image of a 'manager' walking around hitting people and stealing their packed lunches whilst smoking cigar between fat lips is one that was never accurate, and is even less so now. I think Marx, were he to achieve a second coming, would be required by his own theories to acknowledge the value adding of those hands which are the brains.

Certainly, management do add to labour value, by making teh workers work hard, by organizing the process to make it efficient as possible (though this is mostly at a shop floor level), just as scientists add to value through research.

Its not just at shopfloor level, the structural requirements for shopfloors to exist further necessitate the organisational skill of managers. Making the workers work hard is not the carrot and stick method of old (thats a myth anyway) and is increasingly typified by involvement of people accross all levels of the organisation (not the cynical type of 'empowerment' but actual empowerment of individual employees - which I would imagine gains your support in principle)

No, thats not the point I was making- Marx sums it up nicely, neither the worker nor the capitalist care about 'the crappy shit he is making'. there is no personal involvement in production, no connection between self and activity, our labour becomes a *seperate* part of our life, something we consider outside our living being, rather than something central and fundamental to it, one that becomes a domineering force over us- my Labour power becomes more important than I am. I am a Thing in the production prcess, not a subject.

This is a subjective intepretation wich leaves one worker saying "yes, the bastards" whilst the next says "but i quite like it". You'd love postwar managerial theory which, when dealing with people, seeks to match jobs to people, seeks to motivate them from within themselves by aligning personal and organisational goals. the fact that this is not an easy thing to do is reflected by the cynical approach taken by second rate companies - as compared to 3M and the like. you know the saying about loving your work making your life so much better, and happy people being productive people.

: (remember, many capitalists have *no* part in the production process, except moving piles of cash from one company to another...)

You still have to sell it to realize the market price. The capital invested may represent the labor value previously created by the capitalist as worker, ie a previous high earner becoming an investor - the labor value of his capital can be the act of its organisation and value as component as well as its service value (for the act of its investment rather than being used to buy stuff)

Incidently this brings up a new issue. You mentioned banks and stockholders earlier. The biggest investors in business is, via their agents, wage earners not hereditary or 'idle' capitalist money owners (oh how the old gentry hate us commoners for getting in on it). Places where wage earners money is stored are pensions, personal stocks (like your peps), individual shares and banks (which are re-lending agents), thus the actual investment class are mostly wage earners via their voluntarily appointed agents. Those huge anonymous finance companies which frighten some are no more than agents of their customers, shame they get pushed around by the regulations but still...

No, investment isn't labour (except in the organisational sense that someone has to assign parts to the right place)- merely putting money into a company is not labour.

see above! Its a service *use-value* on behalf of wage savers. Individually rich fold are rare, but those whose wealth is created by adding 'labor value' (ie working as whatever) rather than hereditary gain are exempt from exploitation allegations.

BTW- I think you were confusing exchange Value with wealth- a diamond in the ground is wealth, when it has been dug up, it gains exchange value.

Oh, i use 'wealth' to indicate the scope economic choice, ie its not intrinsic - the diamond is worthless until it gives economic choice.

No, risk acrues to labour in that when the shit hits the fan, they get sacked.

Incidently the risk is spread over the stockholders which include wage earners savings (as above), but some wage earners who add more value can set aside nest eggs. Adding value is a key to personal financial security then. More over it is easier for a person to gain another job in a few months thn for a private investor to regain the millions lost. based upon the standard "are you still able to eat" the investor survives better (assuming the limited personal liability to his invested amount) but the volume lost is more.

The service value of salary shouldnt be disregarded out of hand, it has a use value for recipient, as does saving with lending agents - its a deal saying "you do the bit about organising and setting up the factory and links, i'll then do the job which wouldnt exist if you didnt manage it, my side is salary which follows and your side is profit if you get it right" Like a small investor asking agents to invest for him because he doesnt have the ability to achieve the same results independantly - they trade to mutual gain.

Labour must be paid according to its produce- and it is a commodity exchange (labour power for money) that occurs before the marketting of the commodity produced itself.

Not if the exchange value determins use value, from which labor value must be paid (cant magic the wage). In bottle two I would accept a sale to the second storeman (especially if it was my cellar!), in bottle 3 the end of the line worker who tries to sell can have no wage as no use-value is achieved. If one worker were to produce it in entirety he could have no money either.

Hmmm, I was thinking of the food industry, standard fare to throw (almost literally) mass produced cakes together, compare with the skill of a local baker producing in his own store (ee, 'e were a great baker our grandad- and he was too...).

Now you can choose to buy cheap cakes (which are ok!) or go to a baker and get wonderful ones.

I was simply following the social convention of referring to ones 'opponents' experts in quasi-religious terms, just like when people talk against Ayn Rand or Von Mises, Friedman etc. Its one of those pointless attempts at suggesting the invalidity of the opposers viewpoint by hinting at non-reason. but the tradition is one to be honored!

Sorry, it just doesn't sound like their usual thing to say...'ll keep my eyes out- might come from one of them damn letters.

I was just about to say that! Probably a later letter too.

Nah, they're dead I'm afraid.


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  • Cap'un? Red Deathy Socialist Party Uk May 26 1999 (13)

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