Sunday, 11 November 2018

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 19 - Part 7

If we take the earlier example, 8 hours of labour commanded 10 hours of labour. Six hours was expended for constant capital, and 2 hours for labour-power. The rate of profit is 25%. If this same rate of profit applies, the commodity when sold will command 25% more labour. It will buy 7.5 hours of constant capital, and 2.5 hours of labour-power. But, now, this 10 hours of labour produces a commodity, which commands 12.5 hours of labour, because the 10 hours of value, now produces a surplus value of 2.5 hours. 

Marx's example is of a calico producer, he essentially assumes that the worker is paid in calico, as wages, which they can exchange for necessaries, and the same is true for the suppliers of means of production. In other words, assume a metre of calico has a value of £1. The calico producer has a capital of £8 in the form of 8 metres of calico. They buy means of production with a value of £6, and so give over 6 metres of calico for it. They pay wages to their workers of £2, again in the form of 2 metres of calico. The workers then process the means of production, and as a result produce 10 metres of calico, thereby creating a surplus product of 2 metres, a surplus value of £2. 

“Therefore one part of the product does not replace the calico exchanged for labour, but constitutes surplus product which belongs to the manufacturer. Or, if we consider the whole product, each yard of calico contains an aliquot part, or its value contains an aliquot part, for which no equivalent is paid; this represents unpaid labour. If the manufacturer sells a yard of calico at its value, that is, if he exchanges it for money or for commodities which contain an equal amount of labour-time, he realises a sum of money, or receives a quantity of commodities which cost him nothing. For he sells the calico not for the labour-time for which he has paid, but for the labour-time embodied in the calico, and he did not pay for part of this labour-time.” (p 18) 

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