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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

GOOGLING MYSELF

Googling myself this morning, after my four mile walk, I came upon a very long and very interesting discussion taking off from my exposition of Ricardo's theory of rent, written by the person who often comments on this blog under the name "Marinus."  The link is here:

http://waka-huia.blogspot.com/

It would take me a very long time to react to the complex discussion he [?] develops, but I recommend it to you.  One quick response:  Marx's discussion assumes one class or quality of labor [roughly speaking, semi-skilled labor] and a "reserve army of the unemployed" always available to compete for any job, thereby driving the wage down to subsistence.  But in fact, as I have argued in my essay "The Future of Socialism," that is not how the labor market developed in the years after Marx wrote.

My own effort to re-analyse the situation can be found in my essay "A Critique and Re-interpretation of the Mabor Theory of Value."

At any rate, I want to thank Marinus for the extremely suggestive and interesting analysis.

6 comments:

Chris said...

Marx does leave room for an increase of wages based upon "moral" battles, driving up what is necessary to reproduce Labor Power. This leaves room for reproduction beyond bare minimum subsistence.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

quite true, as does Ricardo, but not for different qualities of labor, analogous to the different qwualities of land. Marx just says that skilled labor is a skimple multiple of unskilled or semi-skilled labor, which really does not address Marinus' point.

Chris said...

Ah, okay. I had not read marinus post, and you're quite correct that Marx is dealing with the quantitative value of labor in the abstract, and not setting room for concrete/qualitatively different labor. Maybe he thinks concrete labor will have a quantitative different form of compensation due to its more arduous expenditure of labor power? But that seems silly, because construction workers expend more labor power than HR reps, yet get paid less.

Sorry, I'm reading Capital for the second time right now, and am looking for any excuse to exercise my learning.

(I plan to go straight into Vol II and III, and hopefully, emerge as a Phoenix?)

Robert Paul Wolff said...

You will be transformed by the experience. :)

Chris said...

I'm writing an honors thesis on Marxist alienation, contributing two -to the best of my limited reading knowledge- ingenious claims to 'Marxism.' I might as well read all 3 volumes if I'm going to keep referring to myself as a Marxist.

Marinus said...

Thank you for the favourable remark about that little piece of mine! Here's a direct link to the piece: http://waka-huia.blogspot.com/2012/01/transplanting-ricardos-result-on-rent.html

You might remember, actually, that I had emailed it to you for comment some time ago, just before your illness. I wasn't surprised that it fell by the wayside as you got occupied with things a little more immediate than anachronistic comment on 18th century economics!