technology (Re: Horowitz's center)

D. L. boddhisatva at
Thu Mar 11 12:08:36 PST 1999

C. Odisio wrote:

"The shortening of necessary labor
> time due to technological change, *per unit of output*, raises the rate
> exploitation (s/v) and allows for the creation of surplus value on an
> expanding scale. It allows for increasing the mass of surplus value, all
> which is controlled, in one sense or another, by capital, relative to the
> reproduction cost of labor. But shortening of labor time has no
> connection to time actually worked"

It is a complete absurdity, and the only reasonable person who would write such a thing is, unfortunately, a Marxist who is trying to apply the flawed reasoning of the LTV to the logical processes of the world.

To then say that shortening of necessary labor time has:

" No necessary connection to wages, that is, unless you believe the fiction that wages have something to do with labor's marginal productivity, ala the neoclassical model."

- is entirely reasonable. Fortunately, one has nothing logically to do with the other. The fact that wages do not necessarily go up with technological advance has nothing to do with the demonstrably fictitious concept of inherent labor value or its bastard cousin "surplus value". To say that the better workers can produce the more they can be exploited is exactly like saying the fatter your wallet is, the more you can be robbed of. It is self-evident and unconnected to any tortured LTV logic. By the "increased exploitation" pseudo-logic of the LTV, one would have to believe that *increasing* necessary labor time would *diminish* the rate of exploitation, something so obviously farcical that it requires a well-schooled and serious Marxist just to get the explanation out without laughing.

All technological improvement is an unqualified good, as is the shortening of necessary labor time. Only unsound reasoning would lead a person to another conclusion. The relevant question is who controls, who owns, the technology.


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