productivity

rakesh bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Sat Apr 27 22:15:50 MDT 1996


>Jorn:
>What does this mean - "not exploited"?
>Does it mean that they don't produce surplus
>value? No profit for the capitalists?
>How come? I find it difficult to accept this.


Carchedi's discussion is to be found on p. 30f of his *Frontiers of
Political Economy* (London: Verso, 1991)

"Thus not all agents in a capitalist productive process are productive.
The value and surplus value produced in that proces are the result of the
action of only one category of agents, those who, through their concrete
labour, change the material and mental characterstics of the objects and
instruments of labour into a different use value, that of the product.  It
is through their concrete labour that the vaue of the means of production
is transferred to that of the product and it is through their abstract
labour that first the value of their labour power and then surplus value
are created.

"What is the role of the unproductive laborers?  They do not transform use
values.  Therefore, neither does their concrete labor trnasfer the vvalue
of themas of production used by them to that of the product, nor does their
abstract labor create new value...."

While unproductive labourers are not exploited in the technical sense, they
are oppressed. As the total mass of surplus value, though produced only in
the productive branches, is tendentially distributed equally over all the
branches in the system, unproductive capitals require the oppression of
their workers if they too are to realize  the average rate of profit.

So unproductive labor must be oppressed if 'their' capitals are to receive
the average rate of *profit*, though they do not produce *value* and
*surplus value.*

Carchedi argues, it should be noted, that the unproductiveness of certain
workers does not imply that they do not share with productive labor an
objective interest in the overthrow of capitalist social relations.

Rakesh



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