Robert Vienneau's comment on a previous post exactly paralleled the points I am planning to make in the next lecture of my Marx course. He writes:
"I thought Professor Wolff's discussion of the literary nature of Marx's
Capital very apposite for that discussion.
Under capitalism, as
far as a share holder is concerned, there is no difference, at a certain level
of abstraction, in a corporation's expenditure on equipment or training for the
workforce. Both are capital investments, with expected payoffs and risks (of
obsolescence resulting from inventions during the life of the investment, of
breakdown of equipment, of worker's changing their employment). So the phrase
"human capital" captures a real illusion thrown up by capitalism.
phrase obscures the fact that workers laborer under the direction of others who
are always trying to extract more value out of the worker. "
This is exactly right. The entire comment is perfectly encapsulated in the phrase "a real illusion."
By the way, Robert Vienneau has a very interesting blog called "Thoughts on Economics." It is not for the faint of heart, but he does some very interesting things there. I recommend it.