[Marxism] meaning of labor time in Capital

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Fri Apr 17 18:50:51 MDT 2009


In Marx own words
 
"But the value of a commodity represents human labour in the abstract, the  
expenditure of human labour in general.  . . .  It is the expenditure  of 
simple labour power, i.e., of the labour power which, on an average, apart  
from any special development, exists in the organism of every ordinary  
individual. Simple average labour, it is true, varies in character in different  
countries and at different times, but in a particular society it is given.  
Skilled labour counts only as simple labour intensified, or rather, as  
multiplied simple labour, a given quantity of skilled being considered equal to  
a greater quantity of simple labour." 
 
(Taken from below) 
 
 
 
 
"Productive activity, if we leave out of sight its special form, viz., the  
useful character of the labour, is nothing but the expenditure of human 
labour  power. Tailoring and weaving, though qualitatively different productive 
 activities, are each a productive expenditure of human brains, nerves, and 
 muscles, and in this sense are human labour. They are but two different 
modes of  expending human labour power. Of course, this labour power, which 
remains the  same under all its modifications, must have attained a certain 
pitch of  development before it can be expended in a multiplicity of modes. 
But the value  of a commodity represents human labour in the abstract, the 
expenditure of human  labour in general. And just as in society, a general or a 
banker plays a great  part, but mere man, on the other hand, a very shabby 
part,[14] so here with mere  human labour. It is the expenditure of simple 
labour power, i.e., of the labour  power which, on an average, apart from any 
special development, exists in the  organism of every ordinary individual. 
Simple average labour, it is true, varies  in character in different 
countries and at different times, but in a particular  society it is given. Skilled 
labour counts only as simple labour intensified, or  rather, as multiplied 
simple labour, a given quantity of skilled being  considered equal to a 
greater quantity of simple labour. Experience shows that  this reduction is 
constantly being made. A commodity may be the product of the  most skilled 
labour, but its value, by equating it to the product of simple  unskilled labour, 
represents a definite quantity of the latter labour alone.[15]  The 
different proportions in which different sorts of labour are reduced to  unskilled 
labour as their standard, are established by a social process that  goes on 
behind the backs of the producers, and, consequently, appear to be fixed  by 
custom. For simplicity’s sake we shall henceforth account every kind of  
labour to be unskilled, simple labour; by this we do no more than save 
ourselves  the trouble of making the reduction." 
 
full: _http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch01.htm#S2_ 
(http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch01.htm#S2) 
 
 
WL. 
**************Join ChristianMingle.com® FREE! Meet Christian Singles in 
your area. Start now! 
(http://pr.atwola.com/promoclk/100126575x1221246370x1201421635/aol?redir=http://www.christianmingle.com/campaign.html?cat=adbuy&src=pl
atforma&adid=aolfooter&newurl=reg_path.html)




More information about the Marxism mailing list