From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. But consider this: apart from those who subsist on state-funded social assistance or private charity, people possess money for two basic reasons – they either earn it through the performance of labour or they obtain it by virtue of their ownership of property. We don't know. Any strike shows that when the workers stop working, nothing gets done. Marx explains, "I use the term labour power or capacity for labour, to denote the aggregate of those bodily and mental capabilities existing in a human being, which he exercises whenever he produces a use-value of any kind"… "The value of labour power, like that of every other commodity, is determined by the labour time necessary for the production, and consequently for the reproduction as well, of this specific article as well. Marx showed how this strategy came up against the resistance of the working class in the cotton textile industry in the middle of the nineteenth century. It also argues that productivity can depend on the wage level paid. After all, if we work overtime or weekends, we expect to get paid more. Lina actually needs the overtime to make ends meet. One way to do this is what Marx called the extraction of absolute surplus value. We have all been led to believe we are paid for the work we put in. The point of Marx’s theory is precisely to establish that the economic category of ‘value’ – together with those of wages, profit, interest, and so on – is bound up with the existence of the social relations of production/reproduction characteristic of capitalism. But if the banks raise interest rates or industrial rents go up, that will hit the industrialist's profits quite independently of the struggle of the workers for higher wages, for a bigger share of what they produce. As inhabitants of a market economy, we don't blink at this notion. There is surplus value, the unpaid labour of the working class that the capitalists all feed off. How can the labour objectified by a worker on a dredger into tin ore be equated with the labour of a seamstress objectified in a dress? But where do they come from? He doesn't know about the workers in Malaysia or the woman in the sweatshop in Taiwan with the electric soldering iron. This means exploiting the worker over a longer time. This has been going on a long time. This can have perverse results, results that are very costly for 'society', for the rest of us, but not for the capitalist firm The firm belches out smoke and pollutes our air. It's us that produce the wealth. Then there is the time put in by the worker to reproduce the elements of his or her own wages. The reader will probably have been told about the spinning jenny and the industrial revolution at school and Marx dealt with it extensively in his writings. This is because the measurement of wealth in terms of social labour-time (whose phenomenal economic expression is money) means that, under conditions of labour-displacing technical innovation, capitalist society tends toward a zero-sum situation in which any gains in income or real wealth must come at the expense of other economic agents, and in which it’s quite possible for aggregate purchasing power to decline (as it does under conditions of economic contraction). Most workers in the United States and the other rich countries did gain better wages and conditions - for a time. Surplus labour is labour which goes to keep not just your immediate boss, but the whole class of hangers on, in idleness. Efficiency wage theory accepts that what the boss is getting is a capacity. In other words, Marx argued that workers create value through their labor but are not properly compensated. By their restless search for above-average profits, they will unconsciously help to establish an average overall rate of profit. The firm doesn't have to pay the costs of hospitalisation and early death of workers with lung and respiratory illness caused by pollution. Worker and capitalist are the polar classes in modern society, because we work, because we have to make a living - we do not own the means of production. This is what Adam Smith called the "invisible hand" in celebrating market forces. Likewise with value we can't just add up the quantities of labour congealed in the product at different stages of production. That's obvious. After a bitter dispute in which police baton charges against picket lines became routine, the strike was sold out by the trade union tops. The farmer feeds the horse some of the oats and sells the rest. But first they come up against limits imposed by the law of value, the regulator of their system. Capitalists start with money. This is one of the dazzling predictions from a document over 150 years old (the Communist Manifesto). That's the theory. That's why it's still going on in the new millennium - in the heart of New York. But how? And the value of commodities is determined by the labour time socially necessary for their production. They propound a grand 'paradox of value' to be found in almost all the textbooks. Because they can roam the world looking for cheap labour to exploit. Nobody thinks that the chocolate coating to a sweet adds any value apart from its cost for the capitalist who buys it. But the system, we are told, works itself! It will employ about 6,000 workers. 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