Sunday, 11 June 2017

Theories of Surplus Value, Part I, Chapter 4 - Part 96

In Smith's analysis, the value of a commodity always commands more labour than the new labour that went into its production, and a portion of the new labour is unpaid labour that comprises a revenue for others besides the worker. But, productive labour is only that which exchanges with capital. Any expenditure out of revenue, therefore, is an exchange with unproductive labour.

“In order for revenue to be exchanged against productive labour, it must first be transformed into capital.” (p 258)

In other words, realised profit, money must be used not as revenue, but must become money-capital, destined to be metamorphosed into productive-capital. But, Smith via his second definition of productive labour, as any labour which creates value as material wealth, blunts his analysis, because now it could appear that accumulation is possible not by first transforming a portion of revenue into capital, but merely by using a portion of revenue directly to exchange with unproductive labour used for material production.

Smith also develops a version of the concept of “human capital” used by bourgeois economists. He does so by comparing the skills acquired by labour to fixed capital.

““Fourthly, of the acquired and useful abilities of all the inhabitants and members of the society. The acquisition of such talents, by the maintenance of the acquirer during his education, study, or apprenticeship, always costs a real expense, which is a capital fixed and realised, as it were, in his person. Those talents, as they make a part of his fortune, so do they likewise that of the society to which he belongs. The improved dexterity of a workman may be considered in the same light as a machine or instrument of trade which facilitates and abridges labour, and which, though it costs a certain expense, repays that expense with a profit” ([Wealth of Nations, O.U.P, edition, Vol. I, p. 308], [Garnier], l.c., t. II, ch, I, pp. 204-05).” (p 258)

Marx demonstrates, elsewhere, what is wrong with the idea of human capital. The skills and talents of any worker are only variations of the labour of any worker. Whether they result in the product of this concrete labour labour being of a higher value than that of simple labour, and by what multiple, can only be determined in the market. The value of the labour-power itself will be determined by the labour-time required for its production, quite independently of that.

What Marx does not address, but which is a valid area of inquiry, is the nature of intellectual labour involved in scientific and other forms of research and development. For example, a large part of the value of new drugs is attributable to the highly complex labour of scientists that goes into their development for years prior to the production process itself. This value, although it has the nature of variable capital, being used for the purchase of wage labour, which creates surplus value, is also like fixed capital. That is that the amount of capital so advanced is fixed and does not change with the volume of output. £1 million spent on the wages of scientists to develop drug X, remains £1 million, whether 1 million or 1 billion units of X are produced, with the difference only being that in the former case £1 of this value is recovered in the value of each unit of X, and in the latter case, it is only £0.001.

As with fixed capital, the more use values produced, the smaller the proportion of this fixed cost is incorporated in each unit. Like fixed capital, this capital does not have to be continually reproduced as happens with circulating capital. It only has to be reproduced, as with fixed capital, when a new drug is to be developed. Finally, like fixed capital it suffers a sort of wear and tear, and a moral depreciation. Over time, the value of any drug will tend to diminish, as competitors produce generic equivalents. But also, any new drug that represents an advance over it, will cause a sharp fall in its value, and thereby of the scientific labour used for its development.

41 comments:

Satan The Devil said...

(1) It’s just as I told you more than once. In practice a team of workers can need complex training and yet be unskilled. Or they count as unskilled as compared to another team of simple workers who do not need to know how to write their own names. The more simple workers skill may amount to lifting and humping heavy loads. We can think of the simple workers as skilled in this example when 1 hour of their labour adds more value to the commodity than does 1 hour of the more complex labour.

And yet in practice this picture may change. All the workers may win a general lasting improvement in conditions. In this way all the workers may bring a general increase in the value of labour power. After this change we may need to think of the workers who need complex training as the skilled workers. I mean that now 1 hour of their labour adds more value to the commodity than does 1 hour of the simple labour.

I already told you more than once how the reason for the skilled labour changing places with unskilled is obvious. All we need to do is to drill down to first causes.

You said that for a clear picture first we need to get into the first volume of Theories of Surplus Value.

(2) Yes a team of workers may put their heads together to discover new drug X. The manufacturer could patent drug X and could sell the patent like a commodity. I say “like” a commodity. But then is a formula for a drug X (or the right to use a formula) a commodity? No. For the same reason you would not call a unique work of art a commodity. Strictly speaking a monopoly of just one specimen is no commodity. You are able to change the supply of a real commodity to meet a change in the demand for it. The same team of workers could put their heads together to discover drug Y. But drug X remains unique as was the work of art. Another team could discover drug X independently of the first team. But their employer must nevertheless still pay another manufacturer for the right to use this discovery. It would make no sense then to say that what he has to pay is determined in the same way as is the price of a commodity.

When any competitors can produce generic equivalents then no one need pay for the formula. Then the formula has become free common knowledge.

Satan The Devil said...

(1) It’s just as I told you more than once. In practice a team of workers can need complex training and yet be unskilled. Or they count as unskilled as compared to another team of simple workers who do not need to know how to write their own names. The more simple workers skill may amount to lifting and humping heavy loads. We can think of the simple workers as skilled in this example when 1 hour of their labour adds more value to the commodity than does 1 hour of the more complex labour.

And yet in practice this picture may change. All the workers may win a general lasting improvement in conditions. In this way all the workers may bring a general increase in the value of labour power. After this change we may need to think of the workers who need complex training as the skilled workers. I mean that now 1 hour of their labour adds more value to the commodity than does 1 hour of the simple labour.

I already told you more than once how the reason for the skilled labour changing places with unskilled is obvious. All we need to do is to drill down to first causes.

You said that for a clear picture first we need to get into the first volume of Theories of Surplus Value.

(2) Yes a team of workers may put their heads together to discover new drug X. The manufacturer could patent drug X and could sell the patent like a commodity. I say “like” a commodity. But then is a formula for a drug X (or the right to use a formula) a commodity? No. For the same reason you would not call a unique work of art a commodity. Strictly speaking a monopoly of just one specimen is no commodity. You are able to change the supply of a real commodity to meet a change in the demand for it. The same team of workers could put their heads together to discover drug Y. But drug X remains unique as was the work of art. Another team could discover drug X independently of the first team. But their employer must nevertheless still pay another manufacturer for the right to use this discovery. It would make no sense then to say that what he has to pay is determined in the same way as is the price of a commodity.

When any competitors can produce generic equivalents then no one need pay for the formula. Then the formula has become free common knowledge.

Boffy said...

And as I replied to you many times the use of the categories complex, simple, skilled etc. you apply is wrong. What does "complex training" mean for example? Complex labour as Marx uses the term is labour which produces more value in an hour than does simple labour. That as Marx points out is only determinable a posteriori in the market.

But, you use the terms complex and simple to refer no to labour but to labour-power. Training is a component of the value of labour-power, as is education, food, shelter and so on. But, as Marx stresses the difference between variable capital and constant capital is that the value of variable-capital is not transferred to the end product.

By contrast, you are determining the value of the end product by the value of the elements of both constant and variable capital that are used in its production. In other words, you take some labour-power that has higher value, is of higher skill etc. and then deduce from this a higher value of the end product.

The reason that I told you that its necessary to read Theories of Surplus Value, is that in what I have already covered from Part I, Marx demonstrates that this approach, which is what Adam Smith slips into, as opposed to his labour theory of value, is completely wrong. It leaves you advocating not a labour theory of value, but a cost of production theory of value, where the value of the commodity is composited from the value of the constant capital used in its production, plus the value of the labour-power used in its production.

On the question of the labour used in developing drugs, I don't think you have said anything different to the questions I have already posed in relation to it, and it takes us no further forward, therefore, in addressing that particular question.

Satan The Devil said...

We find this from the market competition. You speak as if this market point is the end of the investigation. It is really the beginning. I’ve been waiting for you to answer now why market competition says that 1 hour tailoring counts as more than 1 hour weaving.

If anyone comes here to comment that each hour the tailor works the market gets an hour from the cost of the tailor’s wages. Next the market adds the extra hour to the first hour then I’ll not accept that as making any sense.

I know you thought that my explanation goes that way but trust me it does not.

In any case your explanation is?

Boffy said...

"If anyone comes here to comment that each hour the tailor works the market gets an hour from the cost of the tailor’s wages.Next the market adds the extra hour to the first hour then I’ll not accept that as making any sense."

The tailor's wages have nothing to do with the value of tailoring labour. That is the whole point! The tailor's wages are merely as Marx sets out in Capital I, the phenomenal form of the value of that kind of concrete labour-power, determined by the labour-time required for its reproduction. If the value produced by this tailoring labour were equal to the value of the tailoring labour then no surplus value is possible. That is precisely the conundrum that Smith got into by the same route as the confusion you have demonstrated between the value of labour power, and the value produced by labour.

So, when we come to your first point,

"You speak as if this market point is the end of the investigation. It is really the beginning. I’ve been waiting for you to answer now why market competition says that 1 hour tailoring counts as more than 1 hour weaving.",

it can be analysed in this light. Its impossible to say, why 1 hour of tailoring counts as more than 1 hour of weaving. That is precisely why Marx says that it cannot be determined a priori, but only a posteriori. It essentially comes down to a question of psychology or consumer preference. It is what Marx would have dealt with when he came to analysing demand and competition, but which he did not live long enough to complete.

The question comes down to why would people prefer to pay more money to go to a concert by X rather than one by Y, why is it people are prepared to pay more to watch an hour of football, or of the performance by a top actor, or other entertainer, than they are the services of a surgeon, whilst the labour-power of the latter probably costs more to reproduce?

As Marx says, demand/use value is governed by completely different laws than value/supply.

Satan The Devil said...

“... If the value produced by this tailoring labour were equal to the value of the tailoring labour then no surplus value is possible...”

In one day the tailor adds 6 average labour hrs to the means of production and makes a shirt. With his day’s pay he can buy something which also contains 6 average labour hrs. But the tailor’s day is not done. He adds 6 more average labour hrs to some more means of production and makes another shirt. His employer gets the 6 more average labour hrs for nothing.

The weaver who made the cloth works for 12 hrs to add 12 average hrs to means of production.

But the tailor works something less than 12 hrs and yet his day counts as 12 average hrs when we buy shirts. Why? Your answer boils down to supply and demand. Marx has dealt with supply and demand. Our starting point must be when supply equals demand. Its then that supply and demand have no effect one way or the other.

Boffy said...

I am starting from the point where supply and demand are equal! If A's labour produces 5 hours of value in 5 hours, but B's labour produces 10 hours of value in 5 hours, then supply and demand will be equal if A exchanges twice as much of their output of five hours, as B produces in 5 hours. In other words, if A produces 10 units of output in 5 hours, and B produces 10 units of their output in 5 hours, A will exchange 20 units of their output for 10 units of B's output, and supply and demand will be equal.

Satan The Devil said...


When supply is equal to demand then the ups and downs of consumer preference have no effect one way or the other. Then it is possible to consider why 1 hr tailoring counts for more than 1 hr weaving.

I don’t know how busy you are.

This booklet is relevant:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/hilferding/1904/criticism/index.htm

Boffy said...

I'm not talking about ups and downs of consumer preference, I'm talking about a stable state of consumer preferences, whereby the product of labour type A is twice the value of the product of labour type B. In such conditions, on the basis of the example set out above, 20 units of A will exchange for 10 units of B for ever more. A's supply of 20 units will find just enough demand from B, at its value, whilst B's supply of 20 units will find just enough demand from A, at its value, so that at the value of each set of commodities (10 hours) supply and demand are in a state of equilibrium.

Or to put it in the terms Marx uses, to overcome the illusion of commodity fetishism, 10 hours of A's concrete labour exchanges for 5 hours of B's concrete labour, because B's labour is complex, and produces twice as much value as that of A in the same amount of time.

Boffy said...

Correction: In line 4, it should of course read, "... whilst B's supply of 10 units will find just enough demand from A..."

Satan The Devil said...


We want to know why 1 hour of one kind of labour counts as more than 1 average hour.

Our job here then is to seek and to explain change.

Worker A adds 10 of his average labour hours to means of production. The 10 average hours are 10 average hours.

And yet another kind of worker B adds just 5 hours to means of production. And yet his 5 hours count as 10 full average hours.

This can all change.

Again A adds labour to means of production. 5 of his hours may now count as 6 or 9 or 10 average hours.

B may add 5 hours to means of production to count as 9 or 6 or just 5 average hours.

Why?

Böhm-Bawerk tries his best to answer why. But since his consumer preference explanation is really the old supply and demand explanation so he would get us nowhere. Consumer preference is just another way of saying demand. To be clear we can continue to suppose that supply is equal to demand. It is then that supply and demand has no effect one way or the other.

Rudolf Hilferding as a student of Marx also tries to answer why 1 hour of one kind of labour counts as more than 1 average hour.

Did you compare Böhm-Bawerk with Rudolf Hilferding?

I wonder who then do you find gets nearer to the truth?

Is it Böhm-Bawerk or Rudolf Hilferding – and why?

Boffy said...

Again I think your categories are confused, and the questions you ask are the wrong questions.

You say,

"Worker A adds 10 of his average labour hours to means of production. The 10 average hours are 10 average hours."

Neither worker A nor worker B adds average hours, but both add hours of concrete labour. The question is to convert this concrete labour time into abstract labour-time. You again ask how this happens or what is its basis, but both Marx and Engels say that its not possible to say what its basis is or how it happens, because as Marx puts it, "it happens continually behind men's backs".

The argument you have been putting is rather like that used by Duhring. And Engels gives his response both to Duhring and to the question you posit, he says,

"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”...

The values of the products of compound labour are expressed by this comparison in definite quantities of simple labour; but this reduction of compound labour is established by a social process which goes on behind the backs of the producers, by a process which at this point, in the development of the theory of value, can only be stated but not as yet explained...

Value itself is nothing else than the expression of the socially necessary human labour materialised in an object. Labour can therefore have no value. One might as well speak of the value of value, or try to determine the weight, not of a heavy body, but of heaviness itself, as speak of the value of labour, and try to determine it. Herr Dühring dismisses people like Owen, Saint-Simon and Fourier by calling them social alchemists {D. K. G. 237}. His subtilising over the value of labour-time, that is, of labour, shows that he ranks far beneath the real alchemists. And now let the reader fathom Herr Dühring's brazenness in imputing to Marx the assertion that the labour-time of one person is in itself more valuable than that of another {500}, that labour-time, and therefore labour, has a value—to Marx, who first demonstrated that labour can have no value, and why it cannot!"

(Anti-Duhring)

As I have said all along, I HAVE assumed that demand and supply are in balance, but you want to dismiss demand as a factor altogether! That is impossible, because Marx 101 shows that no product has value, unless it is first a use value, and the same applies, therefore, to a commodity. No commodity has value, unless it is a use value, i.e. unless it is DEMANDED as a product by someone, and as Marx says this demand is itself then a function of use value, not of value. How much someone is prepared to pay for the concrete labour contained in a commodity, if they are prepared to pay anything for it at all, depends upon the extent to which it represents a use value for them, in other words, it depends upon their particular set of consumer preferences.

As Marx puts it in the Grundrisse in a different context,

“But as use value it is absolutely not measured by the labour time objectified in it, but rather a measuring rod is applied to it which lies outside its nature as exchange value.” (p 412)

Its been a long time since I last read Hilferding's refutation of Bohm-Bawerk's "Marx and the Close of His System". Obviously, I prefer the former to the latter, but I don't have time at the moment to respond in that regard in more detail, as I'm about to publish my 21st Century translation of Capital Volume III.

Boffy said...

The fuller quote by Marx in the Grundrisse makes the matter even clearer.

“Here a great confusion: (1) This identity of supply, so that it is a demand measured by its own amount, is true only to the extent that it is exchange value = to a certain amount of objectified labour. To that extent it is the measure of its own demand -- as far as value is concerned. But, as such a value, it first has to be realized through the exchange for money, and as object of exchange for money it depends (2) on its use value,but as use value it depends on the mass of needs present for it, the demand for it. But as use value it is absolutely not measured by the labour time objectified in it, but rather a measuring rod is applied to it which lies outside its nature as exchange value.”

That measuring rod, is of course, the ability to meet the needs of the buyer, i.e. its utility for that buyer. Supply is determined by exchange-value, whereas demand is determined by use-value. Physical production has to be continually expanded to reduce individual value below social value, but Marx points out that just because producers supply increased physical quantities to market, consumers have no reason to consume these increased physical amounts, just because they represent the same amount of value, i.e. he understands elasticity of demand.

“The value supplied (but not yet realised) and the quantity of iron which is realised, do not correspond to each other. No grounds exist therefore for assuming that the possibility of selling a commodity at its value corresponds in any way to the quantity of the commodity I bring to market. For the buyer, my commodity exists, above all, as use-value. He buys it as such. But what he needs is a definite quantity of iron. His need for iron is just as little determined by the quantity produced by me as the value of my iron is commensurate with this quantity.

It is true that the man who buys has in his possession merely the converted form of a commodity—money—i.e., the commodity in the form of exchange-value, and he can act as a buyer only because he or others have earlier acted as sellers of commodities which now exist in the form of money. This, however, is no reason why he should reconvert his money into my commodity or why his need for my commodity should be determined by the quantity of it that I have produced. Insofar as he wants to buy my commodity, he may want either a smaller quantity than I supply, or the entire quantity, but below its value. His demand does not have to correspond to my supply any more than the quantity I supply and the value at which I supply it are identical.”

(Theories of Surplus Value 3)

Satan The Devil said...


No.

The worker’s hour counts as an average hour when you buy a commodity. But an hour of other kind of labour counts as more than an average hour when you buy a commodity.

To be clear we can suppose supply equal to demand.

That is a balance.

I hope that this discussion helps with your book.

Boffy said...

"The worker’s hour counts as an average hour when you buy a commodity. But an hour of other kind of labour counts as more than an average hour when you buy a commodity."

This makes no sense. Its only workers' labour that is under discussion, and the varying amounts of value created by an hour of different concrete labour's provided by workers.

Satan The Devil said...


No; x quantity of commodity A is worth y quantity of commodity B in exchange (xA=yB). Nowhere at all do I claim as if it is a committee who reduce the different kinds of labour in xA=yB to equality. When produced xA and yB really are equal. This is behind our backs. That’s why we only learn of this equality when we exchange xA for yB as commodities.

It’s rather what you say that makes no sense:

“... It essentially comes down to a question of psychology or consumer preference. It is what Marx would have dealt with when he came to analysing demand and competition, but which he did not live long enough to complete.
(Boffy 13 June 2017 at 07:43)

But when supply and demand balance then whatever demand does so supply does in the opposite direction. Then whatever supply does so demand does in the opposite direction. Then supply and demand have no effect one way or the other.

Then we can discuss this question properly.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/hilferding/1904/criticism/index.htm

Boffy said...

This makes even less sense, because now you are equating the values of different commodities with the value of the product of different types of labour.

Nor does this make any sense.

"But when supply and demand balance then whatever demand does so supply does in the opposite direction. Then whatever supply does so demand does in the opposite direction. Then supply and demand have no effect one way or the other."

If demand and supply actually were set at zero, for example, then the commodity, or in this case the value of the product of labour would have no value, because to have value, a commodity, or the product of labour must first be a use value, i.e. it must be demanded by someone!

But, the question here is not even about the relative value, i.e. exchange values of different commodities but only about the relations between complex and simple labour, i.e. the conversion of some specific concrete labour into a quantity of simple labour. It is that conversion that goes on behind Men's backs.

The difference is that you want to reduce that conversion processes to being simply a question of wages, as Adam Smith does, so that the value of commodities rises and falls with changes in wages. That is precisely what Marx says is wrong with Smith's second cost of production theory of value, as opposed to his initial labour theory of value.

Ans so as Engels says,

"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”...

The values of the products of compound labour are expressed by this comparison in definite quantities of simple labour; but this reduction of compound labour is established by a social process which goes on behind the backs of the producers, by a process which at this point, in the development of the theory of value, can only be stated but not as yet explained."

And that is because the question comes down to the value that consumers put on different types of concrete labour one with another, which has nothing to do with the value of that labour-power, i.e. what is paid for that labour-power in the form of wages. Just because worker type A is paid high wages, reflecting a high cost of reproducing that type of labour-power, does not mean that consumers will place a high value on the product of that labour, and vice versa. In such cases, capitals that employ such labour-power will have an increased incentive to reduce the value of that labour-power, find ways of training workers to do it, more cheaply, or else to employ labour-saving machines to de-skill and replace that kind of labour-power.

In the same way, the fact that a particular type of labour results in a product that is highly valued by consumers does not mean that the worker will receive high wages for their labour-power. Instead it will result in a higher rate of surplus value, and rate of profit in that sphere, which may or may not be competed away, or else may result in a rent being paid.



Satan The Devil said...

I am in your words: “... equating the values of different commodities with the value of the product of different types of labour...”

Do you mean as in 1 coat is worth 1 roll of cloth?

When we want to measure a lump of sugar we balance sugar lump against some metal weights. The weights are not sugar. And we find that an amount of the weights are equal to the sugar. Here the weights count as weight.

And in 1 coat is worth 1 roll of cloth we find that the cloth counts as value.

It makes sense.

But anyone anytime can make anything not look like sense if they try hard enough.

Please look once more. But this time just try to make sense of it.

Next you say:

“... If demand and supply actually were set at zero, for example, then the commodity, or in this case the value of the product of labour would have no value, because to have value, a commodity, or the product of labour must first be a use value, i.e. it must be demanded by someone!”

Here we see how to: “... set at zero...” is your example. Now whatever difficulties follow from your example are your difficulties. “...the product of labour must first be a use value, i.e. it must be demanded by someone!” So why is it then in your example that you want your demand: “... set at zero...”? See how you also set your supply at zero. For you then there are zero products. Where are you going here with your example please?

Up the page there I share that link to Rudolf Hilferding’s booklet.

To be clear would you claim that Rudolf Hilferding wants it that the value of commodities rises and falls with changes in wages?

Note that I say the same as Rudolf Hilferding.

The value of a commodity rather rises and falls with the quantity of social labour-time necessary for its production.

So let the value of the commodity = 1 hr.

Let the worker’s wages rise or fall.

The value of the commodity may still = 1 hr.

There’s the old view that change stems from exchange. That‘s mind-over-mater. In Marx change stems from production and next to it from exchange. That’s matter-over-mind. Here you simply have your wires crossed.

Boffy said...

"Do you mean as in 1 coat is worth 1 roll of cloth?"

No that is equating the values of two different commodities. The point at issue is the product of labour, i.e. why is labour A complex labour, and what determines the extent to which it is complex relative to simple labour. Your argument all along has been that this relation of complex labour to simple labour is somehow objectively determined, and a function of the value of labour-power. It isn't as the quotes from Marx and Engels demonstrate, i.e.

"The values of the products of compound labour are expressed by this comparison in definite quantities of simple labour; but this reduction of compound labour is established by a social process which goes on behind the backs of the producers, by a process which at this point, in the development of the theory of value, can only be stated but not as yet explained."

"Please look once more. But this time just try to make sense of it."

I have tried, and it makes no sense. The issue is the nature of complex labour, and instead you are talking about the exchange values of commodities, which is a totally different discussion. Unfortunately, you don't even seem to understand the nature of the issue under discussion, so its difficult to make progress.

"Here we see how to: “... set at zero...” is your example. Now whatever difficulties follow from your example are your difficulties. “...the product of labour must first be a use value, i.e. it must be demanded by someone!” So why is it then in your example that you want your demand: “... set at zero...”? See how you also set your supply at zero. For you then there are zero products. Where are you going here with your example please?"

Again, I recognise all of the words individually that you have used here, but the order in which you have arranged them seems to be totally random.

Cont'd

Boffy said...

"Note that I say the same as Rudolf Hilferding."

No you don't. Let's take your argument. It is that complex labour is only complex in proportion to the value of that particular labour-power. In other words, if the labour of a weaver produces twice as much value in an hour as the labour of a spinner, so that the weaver's labour is complex labour, and stands in the relation 2:1 to simple labour, your argument as previously set out is that this relation is determined by the fact that the weaver's labour is skilled labour, that its cost of production is greater, i.e. that the value of weaving labour-power is double that of simple labour, or here that of spinning labour-power.

On this basis, let weavers and spinners both work for 10 hours, but in this time the weaver produces 20 hours of value, and the spinner 10 hours of value. On your basis, let's assume that the rate of surplus value is 100%, so the spinner must work 5 hours of necessary labour, whilst the weaver must work 10 hours of necessary labour, but because the weaver's labour is complex labour, this only amounts to 5 hours of concrete labour.

On this basis the weaver produces 20 hours of new value, in 10 hours of concrete labour. They work 5 hours of concrete labour, which is equivalent to 10 hours of simple labour, to replace the value of their labour-power. That means they thereby produce 10 hours of surplus value, and the rate of surplus value is 100%.

The spinner works 10 hours of concrete labour and produces 10 hours of new value. They work 5 hours of concrete labour, which is equal to five hours of simple labour to reproduce their labour-power, thereby producing 5 hours of surplus value, and again a rate of surplus value of 100%.

But, on the basis of the argument you have presented whereby the ratio of complex to simple labour is simply a function of the relative values of different types of concrete labour-power, if the value of the weaver's labour-power rises say to 12 hours of simple labour, in order to maintain the relationship, so that the rate of surplus value remains 100%, the new values they produce would have to rise 24 hours from 20 hours, so that in 10 hours of concrete labour their labour would produce this 24 hours of new value.

That is precisely the contradiction that Adam Smith ended up in that he went from determining the value of commodities from the labour-time required for their production to determining the value of commodities on the basis of the labour (power) used for their production. The logic of your position, as opposed to that put forward by Hilferding is precisely that as wages/the value of labour-power rises so the value of the commodities produced by that labour-power rises, because you have made the value of the product of labour (or as you follow Smith in confusing labour-power with labour, the value of labour itself) determinant upon the value of labour-power.

But, again this is all a question relating to the value of commodities, whereas the actual point under discussion is not the value or relative value of commodities, i.e. exchange value, but is the nature of complex labour in relation to simple labour, and unfortunately you do not seem to be able to grasp that concept. I think, therefore, that until such time as you are able to understand these basic Marxist concepts, this discussion is likely to just go round in rather pointless circles, generating more heat than light.

Satan The Devil said...


Then cheer-up and let’s take a look at this.

So let the value of the commodity = 1 hr.

Let the worker’s wages rise or fall.

The value of the commodity may still = 1 hr.

So far value cannot be simply a function of the wages rise or fall.

In the above it is possible that the worker is skilled and that such workers need work something less than an hr and that 1/2 labour hr counts as 1 full labour hr as follows.

So let the value of the commodity = 1 hr.

Let the worker’s wages rise or fall.

The value of the commodity may still = 1 hr.

Still value cannot be simply a function of wages rise or fall.

And nothing is different here from what Rudolf Hilferding says.

It’s rather you who is saying everything different.

Here you claim as if the value is a function of consumer preference.

Does Engels say so? No. Not with all Marx’ notes of what Marx would have published had he lived.

This relation of skilled to simple labour is objectively determined.

Hilferding is right in this.

You are just wrong here.

Boffy said...

I agree with all the workings here. The trouble is that according to you, from everything you have previously said the question of how much less than an hour this particular worker has to work in order to create an hour of value, i.e. to what extent their labour is complex labour, depends upon, i.e. is a function of their wages, i.e. what is the value of their labour-power, which means what is the cost of reproducing this labour.

So, according to you, from your previous arguments if 0.5 hours of labour from this worker creates an hour of new value, this is directly related to the fact that this worker is a skilled worker, and their labour power costs twice as much to produce as that of a worker who only produces simple labour. In that case, if the rate of value is 100% every worker in every hour works half of that time to reproduce their own labour-power.

In the case above, the complex worker would work for 1 hour during which time they would produce 2 hours of new value. 1 hour of this is required to reproduce their labour-power, but this only amounts to actually 0.5 hours of their concrete labour, because as complex labour it creates new value in the proportion of 2:1 to simple labour labour.

Now you have two choices. If you persist with your argument that the degree of complexity of labour relative to simple labour is simply a function of the value of that labour-power, i.e. if labour A produces 1 hour of new value in an hour, it is because its simple labour, whose cost of reproduction is 0.5 hours, whilst labour B produces 2 hours of value in an hour, because its cost of reproduction is 1 hour, reflecting its skilled nature, then that is contrary to what Engels says, because he says it is not possible to make this correlative determination. He says,

"The values of the products of compound labour are expressed by this comparison in definite quantities of simple labour; but this reduction of compound labour is established by a social process which goes on behind the backs of the producers, by a process which at this point, in the development of the theory of value, can only be stated but not as yet explained."

Moreover, you would also have to accept that this is contrary to Hilferding. Wages are the phenomenal form of the value of labour-power. Now if the new value created by complex labour is, as you have previously argued simply determined by and correlated directly to the value of that kind of concrete labour, then you logical MUST argue that if wages rise then this correlation, necessitates that the new value created by that labour also rises. Otherwise, the correlation, which is the basis of your argument falls at the first hurdle.

The problem is that once again you have started by a consideration of the value of commodities, rather than the point at issue which is the nature of complex labour. In so doing you completely missed the whole thing that you have to prove, whilst in the process once again putting yourself in the same contradiction and conundrum that Smith found himself in by making this same direct correlation between the value of labour-power and the value created by labour. He though had an excuse, because at that time, Marx had not explained the difference between the value of labour-power, as a commodity, and the value created by labour as the essence of value.

Boffy said...

"Here you claim as if the value is a function of consumer preference.

Does Engels say so? No. Not with all Marx’ notes of what Marx would have published had he lived."

Have you read what Marx says about socially necessary labour? Let me ask you this question.

A weaver works for 100 hours producing cloth. Lets set the value of constant capital to zero. The weaver's labour we will take as being simple labour. We will assume that the weaver works at the average level of efficiency for weaving labour. They take their cloth to market, but find that the demand for this cloth only amounts to 80% of what has been produced. What do you think Marx says about this situation? He says that 20% of the labour undertaken was not socially necessary labour, because labour is only socially necessary, only produces value, where there is a demand for the product of that labour, and he says that demand necessarily means a demand at the value/price of the commodity.

In this case, although 100 hours of labour is undertaken, only 80 hours of value is created, each hour of labour undertaken only created 0.8 hours of value. As Marx puts it,

“Here a great confusion: (1) This identity of supply, so that it is a demand measured by its own amount, is true only to the extent that it is exchange value = to a certain amount of objectified labour. To that extent it is the measure of its own demand -- as far as value is concerned. But, as such a value, it first has to be realized through the exchange for money, and as object of exchange for money it depends (2) on its use value,but as use value it depends on the mass of needs present for it, the demand for it. But as use value it is absolutely not measured by the labour time objectified in it, but rather a measuring rod is applied to it which lies outside its nature as exchange value.”

The demand is a function of use value, as marx says here, and use value is subjective, it depends upon the consumer's preferences. As Marx puts it again,

“The same value can be embodied in very different quantities [of commodities]. But the use-value—consumption—depends not on value, but on the quantity. It is quite unintelligible why I should buy six knives because I can get them for the same price that I previously paid for one.”

(TOSV 3 Chapter 20, p 119)

Boffy said...

You say, confirming the point I made above that you directly relate the new value created by labour to the value of labour-power,

"This relation of skilled to simple labour is objectively determined."

In that case, you clearly disagree with Marx and Engels who say the opposite. Once again Engels says, that it is impossible at this stage of development of value theory to explain in what proportion complex labour is related to simple labour, because this process of conversion occurs "behind men's backs" in the market, and is consequently only determinable a posteriori, not a priori. Engels says,

"The values of the products of compound labour are expressed by this comparison in definite quantities of simple labour; but this reduction of compound labour is established by a social process which goes on behind the backs of the producers, by a process which at this point, in the development of the theory of value, can only be stated but not as yet explained."

So, obviously you claim to have resolved this problem that Marx and Engels said was at their time inexplicable, or else are you saying that you are right, and Marx and Engels are wrong, that the process and basis of conversion of complex to simple labour is explicable!

Well in that case, you should prove it. Explain to us what marx and Engels said was inexplicable. Explain the "objective" basis upon which complex labour is converted to simple labour. Explain to us how you have unravelled this mystery that Marx and Engels could not.

Here is a question to answer as you give us the benefit of your knowledge and development of value theory beyond what Marx and Engels could achieve. What is the objective basis upon which the value produced in an hour by a Premier League Footballer is say 10,000 times greater than that produced in an hour by a brain surgeon? Is it as you claim objectively determined and simply a correlation to the wages paid to the footballer as opposed to the brain surgeon?

In other words, is the value produced by the footballer simply a function of the fact that such footballers get paid huge amounts of wages? In that case, I also look forward to you explaining "objectively" how the value of labour-power, i.e. the cost of reproduction of the labour-power of a footballer is greater than that of a brain surgeon!

Satan The Devil said...


The point here could hardly be clearer.

Engels could and would say what you say if he agreed with you. He doesn’t.

"The values of the products of compound labour are expressed by this comparison in definite quantities of simple labour; but this reduction of compound labour is established by a social process which goes on behind the backs of the producers, by a process which at this point, in the development of the theory of value, can only be stated but not as yet explained."
(Your quote from Engels)

The reduction is established by a social process which goes on behind the backs of the producers. That is this relation of skilled to simple labour is objectively determined.

Had Engels meant that consumer preference made the reduction then he would say so. Or he would certainly return sometime to the point to say so. He doesn’t. To say so would make no sense in the face of what he says in your quote.

A social process beyond our will, beyond our preference, behind our backs and somewhat beyond our grasp is objectively determined.

You misread me a lot.

Do you see how great demand drives prices up when there is small supply and vice versa?

“...value produced in an hour by a Premier League Footballer is say 10,000 times greater than that produced in an hour by a brain surgeon...”

The answer is it is not.

Workers need to see how the top player really gets surplus-value. Workers produce the surplus value.

Boffy said...

"That is this relation of skilled to simple labour is objectively determined."

If its objectively determined then its explicable then isn't it, in the same way that that value of a commodity is explicable and determinable! But, Engels says its not explicable, precisely because its not objectively determined. If its objectively determined then it doesn't go on behind men's backs but out in the open, and if its objectively determined its possible to state what that relation is in each case. But, you can't do that, which is why you have walked away from the basic challenge I set you.

"Or he would certainly return sometime to the point to say so. He doesn’t. To say so would make no sense in the face of what he says in your quote."

But he does do that, and Marx certainly does not least in all of the quotes from Marx in relation to use value, and consumer preferences as the basis of demand I have cited.

"A social process beyond our will, beyond our preference, behind our backs and somewhat beyond our grasp is objectively determined."

Quite wrong. Look at Engels explanation in his Supplement to Capital III, of how value was determined even during his lifetime in German peasant villages, quite openly as each peasant knew how much labour-time was required for the production of various commodities.

"You misread me a lot.

Do you see how great demand drives prices up when there is small supply and vice versa?"

No, the trouble is that what you present is a very crude and vulgar version of Marxism that mechanically parrots a few basic statements from Volume I that you clearly have not properly understood, and then proceed as though Marx never wrote Volume II, III or Theories of Surplus Value. So, for example, the question under discussion is the relation of complex to simple labour, but you continually instead talk about the relative values of commodities. You apparently confuse "the product of labour" with the commodity. But, the meaning of "product of labour" here is not referring to any commodity, but to a sum of value. It is the same thing as saying 12 is the product of 6 x 2, or 3 x 4. It is simply saying that the product of labour A, in 1 hours is equal to 1, whereas the product of labour B in 1 hour is equal to 2, etc.

Cont'd

Boffy said...

But, even when it comes to the question of equating the values of commodities, i.e. their exchange value, you give us this same crude and vulgar version of Marx, that has more in common with Say's Law than what Marx himself argued. So, for example, you say,

"When produced xA and yB really are equal. This is behind our backs. That’s why we only learn of this equality when we exchange xA for yB as commodities."

First things first. Is it behind our backs? Well no, for the reasons Engels describes in the Supplement. We can objectively determine how much labour is sued to produce both A and B, including all of the components used in their production. What is behind our backs and only knowable when the actual exchange has taken place, is how much of that actually performed labour was socially necessary labour, and how much of labour A was treated as complex labour compared to labour used in B. We can only know it after the event because it is not objectively determined. If it were objectively determined we could say prior to the exchange what the exchange relation would be!

But, like Say, you write demand out of the equation, and assume that supply creates its own demand.

So, let's deal with that.

Commodity A requires 10 hours of simple labour for its production. Commodity B requires 20 hours for its production. On the basis of the argument you have put forward, then 2 units of A exchange for 1 unit of B. Is this correct? Certainly on this basis, the exchange value of 1 unit of B is 2 units of A. Let's assume that the owners of A and B produce and exchange, on this basis. 20 units of A are produced, and are exchanged for 10 units of B.

Now, both increase their production by 100%, so now can you tell us, what the actual exchange relation will be? On the basis of the argument you have put, A and B will continue to exchange at the rate of 2:1, so that A will exchange their 40 units for 20 units of B. Is that correct? Absolutely not, for the reasons Marx sets out, where he could be referring to you, and your argument directly.

“The same value is produced in both cases, but the quantity of commodities in which it is represented is very different. It is quite incomprehensible, therefore, why industry A, because the value of its output has increased by 1 per cent while the mass of its products has grown by 20 per cent, must find a market in B where the value has likewise increased by 1 per cent, but the quantity of its output only by 5 per cent. Here, the author has failed to take into consideration the difference between use-value and exchange-value. (Theories of Surplus Value 3, Chapter 20)

In other words, it is only if you base yourself on Say's Law that supply creates its own demand that you can go from the fact that the proportion of labour embodied in each commodity has remained proportionally the same to the assumption that A and B will continue to exchange in the proportion of 2:1. As Marx says, it is to ignore the question of use value, i.e. of demand, and to thereby ignore the fact that A might be prepared to continue to exchange at the rate of 2:1, because they can consume as much B, as can be produced, but B, has a limited demand for A, and beyond that level of demand, A forms no use value for them, and any labour expended on its production, is thereby not socially necessary labour, and so does not create any value.

Cont'd

Boffy said...

Moreover, in order to objectively determine the labour-time required for the production of each commodity, and so their respective values, demand is important for another reason. Suppose the demand for a particular commodity is 10,000 units, at its current market value. Does this level of demand in turn affect that value? The answer is yes, it does. If demand is only 10,000 units, that determines on what scale it is going to be produced. But, as Marx sets out the scale of production also determines the amount of social labour-timer required for production. If demand were to be, say 100,000 units, then machinery could be introduced, productivity would rise, and the amount of labour-time required for production of this commodity would fall. Its value would fall.

On the other hand, suppose the commodity is grain. The demand rises from 10,000 kilos to 100,000 kilos. The demand cannot be met from using the existing land, so new less fertile land is brought into production, and on this land, each kilo of grain requires more labour for its production, and so its value rises. The question of demand cannot be separated from the question of supply, and so, demand itself acts as a determinant of value, by influencing the level of supply. As Marx puts it.

“Supply and demand determine the market-price, and so does the market-price, and the market-value in the further analysis, determine supply and demand. This is obvious in the case of demand, since it moves in a direction opposite to prices, swelling when prices fall, and vice versa. But this is also true of supply. Because the prices of means of production incorporated in the offered commodities determine the demand for these means of production, and thus the supply of commodities whose supply embraces the demand for these means of production. The prices of cotton are determinants in the supply of cotton goods.
To this confusion — determining prices through demand and supply, and, at the same time, determining supply and demand through prices — must be added that demand determines supply, just as supply determines demand, and production determines the market, as well as the market determines production.”

Cont'd

Boffy said...

I asked you to explain the “objective” basis upon which an hour of the labour of a Premier League footballer produces say 10,000 times as much value as an hour of the labour of a brain surgeon. You have not done so, despite your assertion that the relation of complex to simple labour is explicable and objectively determinable. Instead you say,

“The answer is it is not.

Workers need to see how the top player really gets surplus-value. Workers produce the surplus value.”

This is illustrative, because the question was about the production of value, but instead you talk about “surplus value”. Its just another example of how you don't seem able to distinguish between categories, and answer questions about one concept, by instead talking about a totally different concept. If you want to say that Premier League footballers do not produce large amounts of value by their labour, compared to say a brain surgeon, you then have to explain to us why consumers are prepared to pay huge amounts of money to but football season tickets, to buy satellite and cable TV subscriptions to Sports Channels and so on, which results in huge revenues for the Premier League Football clubs.

If you want to argue that Premier League footballers in some way extract surplus value, then you have to explain to us, in what way such a labourer does that, because according to Marx, surplus value arises on the basis of the exchange between wage labour and capital. The footballer is not a buyer of labour-power here, but a seller! It is their labour-power that is being bought by the capitalist, i.e. the football club, and it is from that labour-power that the football club extracts surplus value, being the difference between the value created by the footballer's labour, and what they pay the footballer in wages.

Cont'd

Boffy said...

Let's take a different example. Take two singers. One is an opera singer who has required many years of voice coaching, and so on to produce the quality of their voice. The other is a pop singer, who has had no such expenditure of labour-time on the production of their labour-power. Can you honestly claim that the value produced by an hour of the opera singer's labour is greater than that of the pop singer, because the value of the labour-power of the opera singer is greater? Personally, I would pay not to have to listen to opera, whereas dependent on the pop singer, I would be prepared to pay varying amounts. But, that is because, as Marx and Engels state, this demand, this use value is a function of my personal taste quite separate from questions of value. How much consumers are prepared to pay for various use values has nothing to do with how much those use values cost to produce. As Marx puts it,

“The value supplied (but not yet realised) and the quantity of iron which is realised, do not correspond to each other. No grounds exist therefore for assuming that the possibility of selling a commodity at its value corresponds in any way to the quantity of the commodity I bring to market. For the buyer, my commodity exists, above all, as use-value. He buys it as such. But what he needs is a definite quantity of iron. His need for iron is just as little determined by the quantity produced by me as the value of my iron is commensurate with this quantity.”

The question then reverts to the supplier of the commodity, i.e. if consumers are only prepared to pay £x for the quantity of the commodity I bring to market, can I still make at least average profit. If not, I have to reduce my supply. But, then as Marx indicates above, the question becomes, if I reduce my level of supply/production, can I still produce at a level of efficiency that maintains the current value of the production. If not, and the market value of the commodity rises, because at this lower level of production, more labour-time is required, then I may still not be able to produce average profit, or the level of demand at this new higher price may then be lower still, and below my new level of supply. There may be no level of supply that produces the commodity at a value that consumers are prepared to pay, and that will provide the average profit, or possibly any profit at all, and so production would eventually cease of this commodity.

So, you still have to answer the two basic questions which arise from your assertions.

1. Please tells us exactly how the relation between complex labour and simple labour is objectively determined, what is the objective basis upon which an hour of complex labour is equal 1 x X hours of simple labour.

2. Please explain why the labour of a top class footballer, or entertainer produces more value than that of a brain surgeon despite the fact that the latter requires more labour-time for the production of their labour-power.

Boffy said...

You also say,

"A social process beyond our will, beyond our preference, behind our backs and somewhat beyond our grasp is objectively determined."

If its beyond our grasp it cannot be objectively determined, because everything that is objectively determined is knowable, i.e. we can grasp the laws that govern that determination.

But, previously you did claim to know the objective basis upon which the conversion of complex to simple labour takes place, so now you have even changed the terms of your own argument! You previously claimed that the relation of complex to simple labour, was nothing more than the relation of the value of one kind of labour-power to that of another. In other words, if the value of labour-power A is 4 hours, and the value of labour-power B is 8 hours, then labour B will be complex labour which produces twice as much value in an hour as labour A.

I demonstrated why that is wrong, and why it leads to the determination of values by wages, rather than labour-time, as Marx sets out in his analysis of Smith's adoption of that very same method of value determination. But, once again you have now run away from your previous argument and assertions on that point, because it brings you into an irreconcilable contradiction with your other arguments, brought in in relation to Hilferding.

Satan The Devil said...


“...But whether, for example, a coat can be exchanged for twenty yards of linen cloth or for forty yards is not a matter of chance, but depends upon objective conditions, upon the amount of socially necessary labor time contained in the coat and in the linen respectively...”
(Hilferding)

Boffy said...

Absolutely correct, but as I've set out above, you are still talking in terms of embodied labour in making your comparisons, not in terms of socially necessary labour. As I said, its as though for you, Marx never wrote anything beyond the first 3 chapters of Capital Volume I.

I have tried to explain this to you, but I have no more time to spend on this. I'd recommend reading my two books covering the first two volumes of Marx's Capital, the third volume will be appearing very shortly.

Satan The Devil said...


You ask:

“1. Please tells us exactly how the relation between complex labour and simple labour is objectively determined, what is the objective basis upon which an hour of complex labour is equal 1 x X hours of simple labour.”

Here’s what you call my comparison:

“1 coat = 1 roll of cloth.”
(My comparison)

I’m happy as you do agree now in that in fact (1) it is objectively determined and (2) the equal something (value) in my comparison is socially necessary labour.

In my comparison we find that no wages exist at all. In my comparison coat and cloth come from workers small home workshops.

The tailor’s labour and weaver’s labour have different use-values. And it costs more training to produce tailor’s labour-power.

And yes had coat and cloth come out of wage-labour and capitalist production then tailor would get more wages per hour, week, month... than the weaver.

But in no case do I claim as if wages determine the value of coat or cloth. In that case I would ask at once what determines wages. And to say that the wages determine the wages (value of labour-power) would be no answer.

Read me rather than misread and value is socially necessary labour in coat and cloth.

It is objectively determined that tailors do normally labour for less time for their labour to add full hour. In your words an hour of tailors’ more complex labour is equal 1 x X hours of simple labour.

The socially necessary training (here the tailor’s training) is the factor different from weaving.

And so I’ve answered your question.

But previously you were claiming as if it’s a question of consumer preference like preferring your favourite star performer. You were then sending economics way back to the dark days before Marx made this clear.

Thank you.

Boffy said...

No you haven't proved anything or shown anything in relation to complex and simple labour here. A;; you have done is assert a relationship between the socially necessary labour contained in a coat, and the socially necessary labour contained in a roll of cloth. You have not told us how much socially necessary labour this is in both cases, and crucially you have not told us how much actual labour is expended by the tailor as opposed to the weaver, so we do not know from this example, whether it is the tailor's labour that is complex, the weaver's labour that is complex, both or neither.

Consequently, we do not know what relation any complex labour in this example has to simple labour. Nor from this do we know whether the embodied labour in either or both of these commodities constitutes socially necessary labour, because we do not know whether the tailor finds any demand for their coat from the weaver, or the weaver finds any demand from the tailor for their cloth, or how much demand that might amount to.

As I said before, its as though only the first three chapters of Capital I exist for you. I'm a bit pressed for time now, and I really don't have time to have to explain these basic elements of Marx's theory over and over again. I'd suggest you go back and read more of the basic theory. As I said, I'd recommend reading my first two volumes of Capital for a start, and the third volume will be available shortly.

Satan The Devil said...


Why is it that the higher kind of labour adds more value in the same time?

You agree now that (1) it must be objectively determined and (2) the equal something (value) as in my comparison is socially necessary labour.

And I spell it all out for you how it is objectively determined that tailor’s labour is higher than weaver’s labour.

The socially necessary training (here the tailor’s training) is the factor different from weaving.

I am expecting you to take the following things as read.

When there is no demand outside their homes then tailor and weaver supply home use only.

When supply and demand favour the tailor then I coat = more than 1 roll of cloth.

When supply and demand favour the weaver then I coat = less than 1 roll of cloth.

And it is when supply and demand balance that we get I coat = 1 roll of cloth.

So this answers all of your questions about great demand for scarce star performers, singers and footballers too.

I’ve answered all of your questions in theory I think.

It seems best to agree about the first volume of Marx Capital. Sorry I’m a slow reader. But we can always get to next volumes after.

But since you have no time just now where might I find any more good debate please?

Boffy said...

Not only have you provided no answers, but its clear you don't even understand the questions.

Satan The Devil said...


Oh yes and I mean when there is no demand then coat and cloth do not exchange as commodities at all. Then tailor and weaver supply home use only.

When supply and demand favour the tailor then I coat exchanges for more than 1 roll of cloth.

When supply and demand favour the weaver then I coat exchanges for less than 1 roll of cloth.

And it is when supply and demand balance then I coat exchanges for 1 roll of cloth.

I don’t understand the questions?

Now once more you surprise me.

Boffy said...

None of this has anything to do with the question of complex and simple labour. It only deals with the question of fluctuations of market price of commodities around their market value. Its a totally different issue.

You need to go back and read the questions. But its clear that you also need to understand some basic concepts of Marxist theory before any further discussion will be fruitful. As I said I have already published a modern translation of the first two volumes of Capital, which would be a good point for you to begin. I have also set up here a Glossary of Marxist Terms, which you should study.

When you understand those basic concepts, come back. But, I have already here set out and explained several times the nature of the concepts of simple and complex labour, which you seem still not to understand.

If 1 coat and 1 roll of cloth contain equal amounts of socially necessary labour, then on the basis of a labour theory of value, as a theory of objective value, it is tautologically true to say that they have equal value, and that the exchange value of one is expressed in the other. That, of course, does not mean that they will exchange.

But, if you approach the question from the angle you have of the exchange value of commodities, which has nothing to do with the actual question I put to you in relation to complex and simple labour, you would first have to ask questions about what socially necessary labour is, and how it is constituted in these two commodities.

Then in order to actually answer the questions put to you, you would have to examine how much actual concrete labour of different types was embodied in the two commodities, and how this quantity relates to the quantity of socially necessary labour. Then the question of whether this labour is simple or complex can begin to be addressed. Then the question of how much simple labour for each amount of complex labour is contained in either or each of these commodities.

Only then can you even start to talk about why the complex labour is complex, and why different labours exhibit different degrees of complexity.

You need to go back and do more study to learn some basic concepts.

Satan The Devil said...


Must I learn this concept?

“... None of this has anything to do with the question of complex and simple labour. It only deals with the question of fluctuations of market price of commodities around their market value...”
(Your first concept)

No. It is just those fluctuations of market prices around their market value which reveal that x hours of simple labour count as 1 hour of complex labour.

And socially necessary training (here the tailor’s training) is the factor different from simple labour.

Boffy said...

"No. It is just those fluctuations of market prices around their market value which reveal that x hours of simple labour count as 1 hour of complex labour."

No the concept of market value is based upon socially necessary labour. Its how much the socially necessary labour is comprised in each particular case of simple or complex labour, which then posits the question of how any complex labour is converted to simple labour, to give the figure of socially necessary labour.

Socially necessary training is a meaningless phrase that you seem to have just made up. If its supposed to mean that the tailor's labour-power itself is higher than that of the weaver, because it has a higher cost of production, then once again you have completed the same circulate argument to get back to where you started.

Marx makes clear as against, for example, Carey that the value of labour-power and the value of labour, not only are not the same, but are not correlated. If its, the value of labour-power, which simply determines the value of labour, then you are back to the argument of Adam Smith, or Malthus that the value of labour is determined by wages, so that then the value of commodities is a function of wages, which is what I put to you was the implication of your argument, several comments ago.

You are simply going round in circles, because you do not understand the basic concepts of Marx's theory. I've tried to explain those basic concepts to you several times now, but you seem incapable for now of grasping them. As I said before, you need to go away and do some reading of basic concepts before any further discussion is of any benefit. I have no time for further responses.