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Must the Workers Control Parliament?

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ALB
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Did somebody really say that in a restaurant the chef was an example of a productive worker and a waiter of an unproductive one? If so, that doesm't strike me as correct as transport is part of production (part of fashioning materials that originally came from nature into something useful). Food in the kitchen is no more a finished product than coal at the pithead  -- to be useful they need to be transported to where they are going to be used. The non-productive workers in a restaurant will be those who order and arrange to pay for the food that is to be cooked, those who count the money collected from customers, and those who calculate the wages of the chef, the waiters and other staff.

Anyway, surplus value is best seen as not just being produced at the level of individual businesses (that's where it's turned into profit) but at the level of the economy as a whole, so that salaries of civil servants (including elected ones like Corbyn) will come out of the surplus value produced by the productive section of the working class as a whole.

Sympo
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ALB wrote:

"Did somebody really say that in a restaurant the chef was an example of a productive worker and a waiter of an unproductive one?"

As far as I have understood it, yes. It's on page 7 of the thread "A few questions regarding economics".

"Food in the kitchen is no more a finished product than coal at the pithead  -- to be useful they need to be transported to where they are going to be used."

So transportation is productive labour?

"Anyway, surplus value is best seen as not just being produced at the level of individual businesses (that's where it's turned into profit) but at the level of the economy as a whole, so that salaries of civil servants (including elected ones like Corbyn) will come out of the surplus value produced by the productive section of the working class as a whole."

According to the Daily Mirror the average wage in the UK is £26,500. I looked at the average annual wage for a British MP, it's £74,962. That to me sounds kind of bloated for that type of work.

ALB
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Sympo wrote:
So transportation is productive labour?
Yes, that was what was taught at SPGB economics classes. It is based on what Marx wrote in section 3 on "transport costs" of chapter 6 of Volume 2 of Capital:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1885-c2/ch06.htm#3

Quote:
It is not necessary to go here into all the details of the costs of circulation, such as packing, sorting, etc. The general law is that all costs of circulation, which arise only from changes in the forms of commodities do not add to their value. They are merely expenses incurred in the realisation of the value or in its conversion from one form into another. The capital spent to meet those costs (including the labour done under its control) belongs among the faux frais of capitalist production. They must be replaced from the surplus-product and constitute, as far as the entire capitalist class is concerned, a deduction from the surplus-value or surplus-product, just as the time a labourer needs for the purchase of his means of subsistence is lost time. But the costs of transportation play a too important part to pass them by without a few brief remarks. (....)

Quantities of products are not increased by transportation. Nor, with a few exceptions, is the possible alteration of their natural qualities, brought about by transportation, an intentional useful effect; it is rather an unavoidable evil. But the use-value of things is materialised only in their consumption, and their consumption may necessitate a change of location of these things, hence may require an additional process of production, in the transport industry. The productive capital invested in this industry imparts value to the transported products, partly by transferring value from the means of transportation, partly by adding value through the labour performed in transport. This last-named increment of value consists, as it does in all capitalist production, of a replacement of wages and of surplus-value.

Within each process of production, a great role is played by the change of location of the subject of labour and the required instruments of labour and labour-power — such as cotton trucked from the carding to the spinning room or coal hoisted from the shaft to the surface. The transition of the finished product as finished goods from one independent place of production to another located at a distance shows the same phenomenon, only on a larger scale. The transport of products from one productive establishment to another is furthermore followed by the passage of the finished products from the sphere of production to that of consumption. The product is not ready for consumption until it has completed these movements.

Young Master Smeet
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Short of time:

Marx wrote:
Whatever may be the social form of the products-supply, its preservation requires outlays for buildings, vessels, etc., which are facilities for storing the product; also for means of production and labour, more or less of which must be expended, according to the nature of the product, in order to combat injurious influences. The more concentrated socially the supply is, the smaller relatively are the costs. These outlays always constitute a part of the social labour, in either materialised or living form — hence in the capitalist form outlays of capital — which do not enter into the formation of the product itself and thus are deductions from the product. They are necessary, these unproductive expenses of social wealth. They are the costs of preserving the social product regardless of whether its existence as an element of the commodity-supply stems merely from the social form of production, hence from the commodity-form and its necessary change of form, or whether we regard the commodity-supply merely as a special form of the supply of products, which is common to all societies, although not in the form of a commodity-supply that form of products-supply belonging in the process of circulation.
 https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1885-c2/ch06.htm

Cabinet Ministers, like directors of Companies can be said to be pensioners of the capitalist class, and to be getting a share of the surplus value: but I think that isn't their ministerial salary, but the deferred payment in form of directorships and speaking tours.  If the ministers had, as in the SU, control of productive wealth, then they would be taking a share of surplus value.

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