[Marxism] work-needs

Charles Brown charlesb at cncl.ci.detroit.mi.us
Wed Jul 9 15:36:21 MDT 2008

The first half of the famous aphorism or whatever it is is "From each
according to ability, ". This recognizes that by birth, humans have a
range of abilities, strengths, weaknesses etc.  So, in the first phase
of Communism,  somebody who has more ability, say physically stronger,
and can therefore, carry more heavy loads per hour than others, gets
paid more based on producing more use-value per time than others. 
Others have more ability in other ways, and would thereby produce more
use-values per time.  Others might have more endurance and work longer
hours.  This principle means if you work longer , you get paid more. If
you don't follow this principle, somebody who works ten hours would be
paid the same as someone who works six hours.


S. Artesian 

International Publishers, 1932/43 edition pages 76/77.

I think my interpretation is a bit different than Michael's, but maybe
because I think Lenin is showing that the inequality is NOT in
receiving the same share based on TIME, no matter how "valuable," 
sophisticalted, life-critical his or her work is-- the inequality is
based on an egalitarian dismissal of "level of effort" --but that the
distribution does not account for the individual needs of each member
society, that some have greater needs than others  for the means of 
subsistence and the means of development.  Consequently, this formal 
equality is in fact unequal, and for equality to be realized, 
"reward" must be based on need and formal equality must be superceded.

Marx nowhere speaks of socialism rewarding individual workers
higher "levels of effort" with greater access to wealth.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "michael a. lebowitz" <mlebowit at sfu.ca>
> Is this a trick question? You can find the work in question in your
> library or on-line.
> michael

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