Labor aristocracy/ Conspiracy theory of Marilyn Monroe's death

Charles Brown BrownBingb at
Fri Feb 7 16:29:02 MST 2003

1)<ALL exploitation is "measured in surplus value", which may be
"absolute" or "relative".  Oppression is not the issue. Of course some
workers (black, women, 3d world etc) are more oppressed than
others. But paradoxically, they may be less exploited, because they
are less productive and the bosses can therefore extract less surplus
value from them.


CB: 1) This issue always comes up in this discussion. I can never quite fully
pin it down .
Just because labor is more productive does not mean that the bosses can
therefore extract more surplus value from it. Human labor,or variable
capital, is the only source of value and surplus value (exchange value) in
Marx's conception. Constant capital is not a source of surplus value.
However, productivity increases as the proportion of constant to variable
capital increases. In general, the greater proporation of constant capital to
variable capital is introduced because it increases productivity. That is it
allows the same number of units of commodities to be produced with fewer
human labor hours, i.e. with less variable capital ( in Marx's Vol. 1
discussion ; I have some recall that Michael Perlman may advise that this
gets more complicated as the analysis is more concrete in Vol. III; or is
that a different issue ?). Since variable capital is the only source of
surplus value, the reduction in the proportion of surplus value means less
surplus value per unit commodity. So, workers working with higher
technological instruments of production, i.e. less labor intensive production
is less rich in surplus value. Workers in imperialist countries and
industries are in general using more efficient technology and more productive
thereby, but does that make them a richer or poorer source of surplus value ?
Not necessarily (?)

2) The History Channel has a show implying that Marilyn Monroe did not
commmit suicide but was assassinated because she had affairs with both John
and Robert Kennedy ( that's not new), but also because she had been married
to Arthur Miller who was a member of the Communist Party ( first time I heard
that he was) and because she kept a "red diary" in which she accused the CIA
of having thugs who were trying to kill Fidel Castro, which she was telling
Robert and John ; and she was going to go public with it all ; all of which
J. Edgar Hoover was very upset about. This story suggests Bobby Kennedy
showed up with two men that night, and evidently supervised the murder !

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