Unequal Exchange

wpc at cs.strath.ac.uk wpc at cs.strath.ac.uk
Mon Jan 30 10:29:24 MST 1995


>>>       The development of that labor "productivity" must include the
>>>apropriation of the FULL BENEFIT of the work product for workers in those
>>>underdeveloped places.  Otherwise, for whom is it productive ?

>In general I agree with the sentiments, but this
>>of course implies getting rid of generalised
>>commodity production.
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>	I disagree with this statement.  Commodity production and socialism
>are not at odds.  Workers need only supplant capitalists in control of their
>industries to effect their receiving full benefit for their work.
>Participation in markets in inevitable.  The value of one's work is socially
>determined in the market.

Whilst 'market socialism' would be a big improvement
for the people of the 3rd world over what
they have got, it is dubious that it is stable
in the long run or that it would give workers the
full value of their product.

Given the great shortage of means of production
in such economies, productivity of labour varies
greatly between different sectors. In a market/coop
system this would be translated into big income
differentials between workers in productive coops
and those in unproductive ones.

The less productive ones will be desperate for
credit to acquire new machinery etc. Where is this
to come from? Either the wealthier coops lend the
funds needed or the poorer ones have to go into
partnership with foreign capital.
In either case, the right of the workers to
the full product of their labour would not
last long.

Looking at China, the rate of economic growth
is higher than in the rest of the third world,
but at the same time income inequalities and
pauperism are growing.

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