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Surplus value

Letters: Asked & Answered


Much Ado About Nothing

To The Editor.

An article appeared in the January issue of our paper under the title "The Pace That Kills" in which the writer. F.C.W., says: "If a cyclist is scared off " (the road) "he becomes s passenger the more for the bus, and another source of profit for the trust." etc.

This, to me, conveys an idea which is damaging to the revolutionary position of the S.P.G.B. The idea impressed on my mind by reading the passage is that it is as consumers (buyers) we are robbed.

I deny that a passenger is “another source of profit for the trust", who happens for the reasons given to become a passenger the more on the bus owned by the trust.

Analysing an Economic System

One criticism of Marx’s Capital is that, written 150 years ago, it is describing conditions in mid-century Victorian Britain which have long since disappeared. It does do this, but this is to miss the point. Marx was analysing an economic system, not the particular political, sociological and historical conditions under which it happened to operate in his day. It was written not, or not just, as a criticism of conditions in mid-Victorian Britain but as an analysis of capitalism in general, of the capitalist economic system as such irrespective of the conditions in which it operated.

Socialist Economics: 6 - Surplus Value

Capitalism's innermost secret is the production and the accumulation of surplus value. This is sub-divided into Profit, Interest and Rent, and it is the blessed trinity dominating the entire international economic and political structure of the capitalist world. The seed corn of Surplus Value is Labour-power. Labour-power is now a commodity. It is different from all other commodities in that it produces more Value than it takes to reproduce itself. The mental and physical capabilities of human beings are thus appropriated as commodities and set to work to produce other commodities.

Socialist Economics: 4 - Do Machines Produce Surplus Value

Historically the function of the capitalist system of production was to replace the previous mode of production prevailing within Feudal society by the more efficient capitalist mode of production. This involved the amalgamation of small fragmented and even individual means of production into a social force. Capitalism socialized the means of production. All the productive forces which were capable of being developed were developed. The capitalist could ensure the presence of large numbers of wageworkers in any one place co-operating with each other within the process of production, with a view to cutting down the time expended in the process.

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