Friday, 29 October 2010

All In This Together, As Bosses Get 55% Pay Rise!

According to the Tories, we are all in this together. They have frozen Public Sector Pay, and for some like the Firemen, are cutting it. They are sacking half a million Public Sector workers, and probably at least the ame number from the Private Sector, and yet according to a report just out, the last year has seen the pay of Chief executives in the UK rise by 55%!!!

GMB News.

Bonuses are back to pre-crisis levels. Of course, the bosses will try to claim that without these huge pay-offs the top bosses could not be attracted. Yet, those same top bosses still get huge payments when the companies they run make huge losses, or when like with the Banks they threaten to throw the whole system into chaos! And, worker-owned Co-ops like Mondragon outperform privately owned companies without paying their top bosses the same huge salaries that these private companies lavish on their Executives. In the UK last year, worker-owned enterprises outperformed even the FTSE 100 companies by 10%, as even the Tories have had to admit. Perhaps that's one reason that Co-ops like Mondragon can also pay out pensions to their workers several times that of what either UK private companies or the UK State says it can afford.

"The labour of supervision and management is naturally required wherever the direct process of production assumes the form of a combined social process, and not of the isolated labour of independent producers.[2] However, it has a double nature.

On the one hand, all labour in which many individuals co-operate necessarily requires a commanding will to co-ordinate and unify the process, and functions which apply not to partial operations but to the total activity of the workshop, much as that of an orchestra conductor. This is a productive job, which must be performed in every combined mode of production.

On the other hand — quite apart from any commercial department — this supervision work necessarily arises in all modes of production based on the antithesis between the labourer, as the direct producer, and the owner of the means of production. The greater this antagonism, the greater the role played by supervision. Hence it reaches its peak in the slave system.[3] But it is indispensable also in the capitalist mode of production, since the production process in it is simultaneously a process by which the capitalist consumes labour-power. Just as in despotic states, supervision and all-round interference by the government involves both the performance of common activities arising from the nature of all communities, and the specific functions arising from the antithesis between the government and the mass of the people.

In the works of ancient writers, who had the slave system before them, both sides of the work of supervision are as inseparably combined in theory as they were in practice. Likewise in the works of modern economists, who regard the capitalist mode of production as absolute. On the other hand, as I shall presently illustrate with an example, the apologists of the modern slave system utilise the work of supervision quite as much as a justification of slavery, as the other economists do to justify the wage system....

The capitalist mode of production has brought matters to a point where the work of supervision, entirely divorced from the ownership of capital, is always readily obtainable. It has, therefore, come to be useless for the capitalist to perform it himself. An orchestra conductor need not own the instruments of his orchestra, nor is it within the scope of his duties as conductor to have anything to do with the "wages" of the other musicians. Co-operative factories furnish proof that the capitalist has become no less redundant as a functionary in production as he himself, looking down from his high perch, finds the big landowner redundant. Inasmuch as the capitalist's work does not originate in the purely capitalistic process of production, and hence does not cease on its own when capital ceases; inasmuch as it does not confine itself solely to the function of exploiting the labour of others; inasmuch as it therefore originates from the social form of the labour-process, from combination and co-operation of many in pursuance of a common result, it is just as independent of capital as that form itself as soon as it has burst its capitalistic shell. To say that this labour is necessary as capitalistic labour, or as a function of the capitalist, only means that the vulgus is unable to conceive the forms developed in the lap of capitalist production, separate and free from their antithetical capitalist character. The industrial capitalist is a worker, compared to the money-capitalist, but a worker in the sense of capitalist, i.e., an exploiter of the labour of others. The wage which he claims and pockets for this labour is exactly equal to the appropriated quantity of another's labour and depends directly upon the rate of exploitation of this labour, in so far as he undertakes the effort required for exploitation; it does not, however, depend on the degree of exertion that such exploitation demands, and which he can shift to a manager for moderate pay. After every crisis there are enough ex-manufacturers in the English factory districts who will supervise, for low wages, what were formerly their own factories in the capacity of managers of the new owners, who are frequently their creditors.[5]

The wages of management both for the commercial and industrial manager are completely isolated from the profits of enterprise in the co-operative factories of labourers, as well as in capitalist stock companies. The separation of wages of management from profits of enterprise, purely accidental at other times, is here constant. In a co-operative factory the antagonistic nature of the labour of supervision disappears, because the manager is paid by the labourers instead of representing capital counterposed to them. Stock companies in general — developed with the credit system — have an increasing tendency to separate this work of management as a function from the ownership of capital, be it self-owned or borrowed. Just as the development of bourgeois society witnessed a separation of the functions of judges and administrators from land-ownership, whose attributes they were in feudal times. But since, on the one hand, the mere owner of capital, the money-capitalist, has to face the functioning capitalist, while money-capital itself assumes a social character with the advance of credit, being concentrated in banks and loaned out by them instead of its original owners, and since, on the other hand, the mere manager who has no title whatever to the capital, whether through borrowing it or otherwise, performs all the real functions pertaining to the functioning capitalist as such, only the functionary remains and the capitalist disappears as superfluous from the production process.

It is manifest from the public accounts of the co-operative factories in England [6] that — after deducting the manager's wages, which form a part of the invested variable capital much the same as wages of other labourers — the profit was higher than the average profit, although at times they paid a much higher interest than did private manufacturers. The source of greater profits in all these cases was greater economy in the application of constant capital. What interests us in this, however, is the fact that here the average profit ( = interest + profit of enterprise) presents itself actually and palpably as a magnitude wholly independent of the wages of management. Since the profit was higher here than average profit, the profit of enterprise was also higher than usual."

Marx Capital Vol III Ch 3

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