- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, Uk ) on May 26, 1999 at 19:07:14:

In Reply to: no no, it was a press set up posted by Gee on May 25, 1999 at 17:11:24:

: I think Marx really missed the boat on this one, by not understanding what managers do as a value adding role.

Erm, no, he was actually defending Adam Smith's definition of productive Labour- management are labour, and are necessary Labour, but they are not productive Labour- as much as house servants and house-wives are Labour, but not productive Labour. This is not to position productive above unproductive, rather its simply demonstrates that which is preferred by the current system.

:(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?)

No, but its doesn't create value, directly, it is merely a support, a necessary support, to the creation of value. Some management do create value- they create plans, structures, etc. But they aren't (usually) sold on the open market, so no money is directly made from that Labour.

: 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.

Marx acknowledged intelectual Labour, as I said, scientists and inventors are covered by his theory, as is intelectual Labour, but book keeping, supervision, negotiating, do not *directly* create value. but as i say, teh distinction is a bourgeois economic one, and not an eternal transcendant one.

: Its not just at shopfloor level, the structural requirements for shopfloors to exist further necessitate the organisational skill of managers.


: 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.

Yes, and such management theory is designed to overcome this essential alienation- the only real way to overcome it is to have freedom of labour, people doing the work they want to do, for people they know, and for visible discernable reasons. It is highly subjective- thats the point.

: 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)

Or it could be the winnings off gambling, historc inheritance from the slave and opium trades, etc. Its doesn't matter where it comes from (and usually we aren't supposed to ask), very few are workers who have thrifted up to that level. And it remains, that money is invested in work, of which teh investor plays no part- whatosever, might not even know what is being made- but which still acrues profit. You believe in dilligent work- how can you support that?

: 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...

Indeed, but these companies must behave with our money in teh same way as would a private investor, and so it just turns into a sort of shcitzophrenia whereby the investors exploit themselves on behalf of some imaginary capitalist (true alienation)- but it still remains, that these people had to work for that money, which amounts to little more than a pittance anyhow, whereas some cream off millions for themselves- and they are tiny in number- 10% of the british population owns 50%+ of the marketable wealth.

: 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.

No, because no-one can "earn" a million pounds, an entrepreneur who makes that much, even if he worked hard, he still needed to extract teh surplus value of others to get that million (or have an incredibly rare skill).

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

Argh! Terminology clash, I'd call that Use-Value, and wealth can be use-values (oil fields are use values, corn fields, etc.) Use-value is not intrinsic.

: 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.

But as a proprtion of total wealth owned, its probably a lot less, and even if it were equal, it would nullify the claims that entrepreneurs take all the risks.

: 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.

But the owners (investor) in the firm didn't create the jobs, he just paid a commissioned investor to shuffle his cash for him. Also, its not exchange to mutual benefit, because surplus value means we work *for free* some of the time on the Job...

: 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.

Exchange value is only a use value in rare circumstances, usually money. The Labour of the storage worker is that they have to maintain the storage conditions lest it gets ruined. Also, you pay for labour as you would any other commodity, stump up, or if you don't have the readies, tough.

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

Can't- the sodding Bakeries are shutting down, certainly over here, on the continent...

: 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!

Indeed, playing the man not the ball is half the fun of the game- gamesmanship is particulalry fine in chess...

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