v and the value of labor power

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Thu Aug 26 10:53:37 PDT 1999

>The value of labour power is the principle determinant of the wage. All
>other fluctuations are secondary.
>Jim heartfield

But what determines the determinant? Jim O'Connor opened up a novel line of investigation in Accumulation Crisis (though Jim O seems to me to make the value of labor power wholly contigent upon the balance of the class struggle and thus unconditioned in any objective sense by the rate of accumulation):

"If labor power in fact is treated by workers as if it were a commodity, then it may be treated 'as if' it has a value. By contrast, if workers do not permit their labor power to be treated as a commodity, then it can no longer be treated as if has a value. As we suggested, in this event explicable only in the context of the class struggle. No longer is it sensible to say that wages are above, below, or equal to the value of labor power; only that wages are above, below, or equal to the value workers put on their own labor power."

Jim O gives explores how the process of accumulation gives rise to alienated needs that, under bourgeois social relations, can only be met by the privatized consumption of commodities that thus enter into the workers' consumption basket, raising the value labor power while however eaving social needs frustrated. It's orthodox marxism fused with critical theory.

Jim H would doubtless read this as contempt for the lives of the masses masquerading as ecologically informed critical theory.

Not that I am trying to start something.

Yours, Rakesh

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