[Marxism] Re: Troubled times

Ggregray at aol.com Ggregray at aol.com
Sat Nov 25 18:53:30 MST 2006

Joaquin Bustelo writing about the theoretical work he sees as necessary in 
developing Marxism as weapon for understanding and changing the world wrote:

"C. In relation to women come up with a description of the process through 
which the socially necessary labor time expended in the household in child 
rearing and household maintenance contributes to the commodity labor power in an 
entirely unremunerated way."

In Australia this role was recognised, not in a Marxist way, but through the 
decision in the most famous case in the setting of wages -the Sunshine 
Harvester case.

In an interview with commentator Terry Lane on ABC (equivalent of the BBC in 
Australia) radio last year Sydney academic expert on workplace relations spoke 
of this case in the context of the reactionary new industrial relations laws 
brought in by the Howard government:

"...And Justice Higgins in the 1907 Harvester decision said ,well we're going 
to set a basic rate, on the assumption that the pat is for a bloke who has a 
dependent wife and three children, so there were a whole lot of kind of 
gendered and other assumptions underpinning the idea, but there was a notion that no 
employer should be allowed to conduct their business unless they paid a rate 
of pay that could allow a worker to live a vivilised life in an advanced 

A transcript of the interview is at:


(You may have to click on show button to read the transcript)

This may also put Joaquin's emphasis on household income being the important 
matter as to the maintenance of living standards rather than median wages into 
some doubt.
If living standards are being maintained in households by a wife and husband 
both working then the up to double the working hours expended by the household 
to maintain those standards in fact has a considerable effect on the 
quality-if not the quantity -of those living standards and in the perception of 
deteriorating standards that working families white, black, latino or other  may 


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