[Marxism] Social versus Technical Division of Labour

Peggy Dobbins pegdobbins at gmail.com
Sun Nov 24 12:27:40 MST 2013


This may not be the time nor place to raise what I'm about to suggest, but as I age and capital penetrates every nook and cranny, it appears to me that surplus value is added by multitudinous forms of commoditized labor power formerly treated, correctly or not, as bourgeois professional servants parasitical upon the owners of the industrialized large in size and amount of currency invested which must depreciated tools employed by industrial Laborers.   Terminologically correct or not, I notice reports of calculated 'wage'/hour of CEOs and others the gross obscenity and un-deservedness of which scandalizes run of the mill ideological defenders of what they understand as the capitalist system.  

I find it useful in disenthralling  Koch captives to define labor by differentiating it from work.  While laboring, earning Inez's livelihood,   one may or may not hone skills employed in one's real work (what humans desire freedom to purse).   This defines  labor as bossed time for pay, time spent doing  what another wants the way they want it in exchange for currency universally accepted in exchanges for the world average labor time embedded in goods and services  one is obliged to pay for to reproduce  labor power, qua commodity, qua willingness and ability to do what capital allocator[s] bet will add more monetized world average labor time than that consumed by the Laborers who add it.   

I don't think anything in the paragraph above deviates from anything M or E wrote.   

I think it would be helpful to future humans if more  long time study-ers of Marx and Engels 
focused on concepts M &E grasped and suggested but did not flesh out because when they wrote,  it was inconceivable to track and compare productivity of a big mac around the globe to the nanosecond, much less billable hours spent on the golf course with a client's client.
~
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 P
 <~~www.peggydobbins.net 

On Nov 23, 2013, at 6:25 PM, shaun may <mnwps at hotmail.com> wrote:
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> 'Skill' in the worker is a technical function of the requirements of capital. It is therefore a continuously evolving, historically determined function in terms of its opeartion in the service of capital. What required 10 workers to achieve in 10 days, 50 years ago can now be done by one (or even none) in five minutes with automation and computer controlled production. And producing a product of considerably higher quality in terms of its use value. Capital only requires the forms of 'skills training' in workers which adequately fits its needs. It [Capital]does not lay out capital which is wasted in the acquisition of skills which are surplus to its requirements [increasing m2via increasing SV]because this is capital wasted. And capital wasted is capital not realising its notion, its raison d'etre. It is the negation its own intrinsic character as capital. 
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> People with PhDs in Engineering are completely wasted and under-utilised by capital. Under socialism, of course, such people would be treasured as the innovators of production and technique. They would be afforded unparalleled scope for development and teaching. In this sense, labourers are, indeed, not only often overskilled for capital's requirements but have those skills denuded and wasted in the course of capitalist production. We may refer to this as "deskilling" accordingly.  
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> The proletariat as a whole (Marx writes about this in Vol 1 Capital, p.618, Penguin) becomes more universal and flexible in its labouring capacities as the capitalist system evolves because this is precisely what capital itself demands. This, of course, has implications for the labourer in terms of the degradation and dehumanisation of his role in production in which he becomes a 'mere appendage of the machine' and working monotonously in a 'supervisory capacity'. His labour-power is dehumanised as the variable component of capital itself in the reproduction of capital. Living labour becomes reified (Verdinglichung) as a mere material element in the production of capital with all its dehumanising, alienating consequences for the labourer in his relationship with his fellow men and himself . 
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> But this increasing degradation of labour and the labourer is a function of the progressive increase in the organic composition of capital which tends to transform the 'skilled worker' into a mere 'supervisor' of production. [Did Marx use the term "supervisor"?]At the same time, and paradoxically, the worker in this supervisory function is expected to be able to move effortlessly from one area of production to another with the breaking down of divisions and barriers not only in production but in society generally. Today a person can move through many different occupations (if they are lucky enough to find work) in the course of his/her life whereas in Marx's time this was not so easy.
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> Comradely Regards
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> Shaun May
> Hull
> England
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> http://shaunpmay.wordpress.com
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> http://spmay.wordpress.com
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