Monday, August 15, 2016

Labour Power

Labour power (in GermanArbeitskraft; in Frenchforce de travail) is a crucial concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of capitalistpolitical economy. Marx distinguished between the capacity to do work, labour power, from the physical act of working, labour.[1] Labour power exists in any kind of society, but on what terms it is traded or combined with means of production to produce goods and services has historically varied greatly.
Under capitalism, according to Marx, the productive powers of labour appear as the creative power of capital. Indeed, "labour power at work" becomes a component of capital, it functions as working capital. Work becomes just work, workers become an abstract labour force, and the control over work becomes mainly a management prerogative.

Marx introduces the concept in chapter 6 of the first volume of Capital, as follows:
"By labour-power or capacity for labour is to be understood the aggregate of those mental and physical capabilities existing in a human being, which he exercises whenever he produces a use-value of any description."[2]
He adds further on that:
"Labour-power, however, becomes a reality only by its exercise; it sets itself in action only by working. But thereby a definite quantity of human muscle, nerve. brain, &c., is wasted, and these require to be restored."[2]
A much shorter, to-the-point explanation of labour-power can be found in the introduction and second chapter of Marx's Wage Labour and Capital.[3]

According to Marx, there is a clear distinction between labour and labour-power. "Labour" refers to the actual activity or effort of producing goods or services (or what Marx calls use-values). Neoclassical economistssometimes refer to this as "labour services." On the other hand, "labour-power" (or "labouring power") refers to a person's ability to work, his or her muscle-power, dexterity and brain-power. Marx took over this distinction from Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Rightand gave it a new significance.
In some ways, this concept is similar to that of "human capital". However most likely Marx himself would have considered the concept of human capital a reification, the purpose of which was to convince the worker that he was really a capitalist. The evidence for this interpretation is the following quote from Capital Vol. 2:
The distinction Marx introduces between labour and labour-power was intended to solve a

problem which David Ricardo failed to solve—the problem of explaining how surplus valuecould arise out of the exchange between capital and labour.

Under capitalism, according to Marx, labour-power becomes a commodity – it is sold and bought on the market. A worker tries to sell his or her labour-power to an employer, in exchange for a wage or salary. If successful (the only alternative being unemployment), this exchange involves submitting to the authority of the capitalist for a specific period of time.
During that time, the worker does actual labour, producing goods and services. The capitalist can then sell these and obtain surplus value; since the wages paid to the workers are lower than the value of the goods or services they produce for the capitalist.[citation needed]
Labour power can also be sold by the worker on "own account", in which case he is self-employed, or it can be sold by an intermediary, such as a hiring agency. In principle a group of workers can also sell their labour-power as an independent contracting party. Some labour contracts are very complex, involving a number of different intermediaries.
Normally, the worker is legally the owner of his labour power, and can sell it freely according to his own wishes. However, most often the trade in labour power is regulated by legislation, and the sale may not be truly "free"—it may be a forced sale for one reason or another, and indeed it may be bought and sold against the real wishes of the worker even although he owns his own labour power. Various gradations of freedom and unfreedom are possible, and free wage labour can combine with slave labour or semi-slavery.
The concept of labour power as a commodity was first explicitly stated by Friedrich Engels in The Principles of Communism (1847):

Human nature and essence versus capitalist immorality and greed

"Capitalism has no moral and ethical values: everything is for sale. It is impossible to educate people in such an environment. People become selfish and sometimes turn into bandits." - FIDEL CASTRO

Vanessa : "Even Pope Francis agrees."

Lewis : "The "human nature" and "capitalism is the only system that works" arguments, are standard capitalist propaganda. There is no such thing as "fixed" human nature, as human beings are adaptive and social creatures--tending towards the norms of the people about them. Capitalism values property over people--thus training people to relate to one another in less than human interactions, All the economic systems prior to capitalism "worked" up until conditions dictated change to something else. Where socialism has "failed" is not due to any inherent  "in congruence" to human nature, but the sabotage by reactionary forces."

CBrown: Yes, Lewis , the Stone Age begins 2.5 million years ago with homo Habilis . Stone tools means they gave language and culture. So, that's probably the point of 23 chromosome pairs , etc.  The mode of production is foraging and hunting and gathering until about 6,000 years ago when the changing you mention starts . That's the advent of swivilization , male supremacist family , private property ( slavery ) , the state (war), ; actually the end of civilization.  .  Culture and language were inherent peacemakers and sharing making for 99% of time of species existence. That's when our nature became hard wired , as biologists say.  Our natures are inclined to sharing and peaceful ness.


"At the same time it's the only system that works, because it doesn't go against human nature. We need to fix capitalism so that it works for everybody not just the one percent."


CB: No capitalism, selfishness is against human nature. In our genes , we tend to be sharing and altruistic , not selfish . The difference between the original humans and animals was human shared ; it was all for one and one for all in a big way , super-cooperative. We have to get back to our true human nature.


Speaking of Ukraine:

"Just recently, I was reminded of the fact that, for the past 25 years, Cuba has been treating 26,000 Ukrainian citizens affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident at its Tarara international medical center in Havana. Cuba has continued to do so, it must be emphasized, though even the potential for any help for this effort from the Soviet Union passed long ago."

Monday, August 8, 2016

Obama Democratic Party

The Democratic Party is stronger than it's been since Johnson.  Proof of its strength is that Obama allowed a non-Democrat , Socialist (!) run for President. Obama has made it so strong and united it's historic, while somehow just by being Black, caused the Republican Party to go into white supremacist hysterical death rattle.