Monday, 6 February 2017

The Normal Working Day - Part 1 of 7


  • The working-day in every society divides into necessary labour and surplus labour.
  • The period of necessary labour determines the minimum length of working day. It is the period required to reproduce all those products required for the reproduction of the labourers.
  • The length of working-day in excess of the necessary labour determines the amount of surplus labour.
  • The duration of the maximum working day is also objectively constrained. There are only 24 hours in a day; the labourers need to eat, sleep and procreate to reproduce their labour-power; beyond certain limits the quality of the labour performed deteriorates, the labourers themselves are worn out more quickly, or need more food etc. to reproduce their labour-power.
  • Every ruling class performs a useful historical function by making the labourers perform surplus labour, which provides the basis for the accumulation and development of the productive forces.
  • Capitalism provides the greatest historical role in this respect, because it is founded upon the need, driven by competition, to accumulate capital, and to constantly revolutionise the means of production.
  • It aims to maximise the surplus labour, and to do this it is increasingly driven not to maximise the length of working day (absolute surplus value), but to reduce the extent of necessary labour (relative surplus value).

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