Thursday, 17 May 2018

Theories of Surplus Value, Part II, Chapter 15 - Part 50

Marx gives further quotes from Ricardo indicating his view of a fixed length of working day. 

““They” (the wages of labour and profit of stock) are “together always of the same value” (l.c., p. 499, [in] Chapter XXXII “Mr. Malthus’s Opinions on Rent”),” (p 416) 

““Wages and profits together will be the same value” (l.c., p. 491, note).” (p 416) 

““Wages and profits taken together will continue always of the same value” (l.c., pp. 490-91). 

“Wages are to be estimated by their real value, viz., by the quantity of labour and capital employed in producing them, and not by their nominal value either in coats, hats, money, or corn” (l.c., Chapter I, “On Value” p. 50). (p 417) 

““The labourer is only paid a really high price for his labour, when his wages will purchase the produce of a great deal of labour” (l.c., p. 322, (note]).” (p 417) 

The first quote simply means that the total labour-time, in the day, remains the same, however divided between wages and profit. In each case, where Ricardo refers to profit, he should say surplus value. His statement on wages is confused because he does not spell out what the real value of wages is, in terms of the value of the commodities that comprise the wage, i.e. wage goods. He does not say that this value is determined by the labour-time required for the production of these wage goods (materialised and immediate labour) and that this value is only equal to a portion of the normal working-day, i.e. the necessary labour. 

“Real wages have to be determined by the average time which the worker must work each day in order to produce or reproduce his own wages.” (p 417) 

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