Old 3rd test - Part I: Relative Surplus Value 1. Within...

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Part I: Relative Surplus Value 1. Within Marx's discussion of relative surplus value in part IV there is considerable analysis of the division of labor (at several levels). How is his discussion related to his distinction between the formal and real subordination of labor to capital? Which such divisions may be related to Marx's discussion of the technical, value and organic compositions of capital? Explain what the concepts of class composition, political recomposition and decomposition add to the analysis. How can such analysis be extended to the sphere of reproduction? Given that Marx's definition of the formal subordination of labor to capital refers to the take over and control of labor without any reorganization or change from traditional (as they found it) technologies we can say that the division of labor which characterizes that period of capitalist development is the one which existed shortly before and during the rise of capital. The "real" subordination of labor to capital being that which occurs as the capitalists reorganize production processes now under their control, such subordination involves changes in the division of labor, changes in the pre-existing technologies and reorganizations in and among industries, i.e., the separation of manufacturing from agriculture, the subordination of factory labor to non-human energy sources, and so on. For the most part Marx's discussion of the technical, value and organic compositions of capital seem to have refered to the shop floor organization of production, though this need not be the case. At any rate the issue of the division of labor is most clearly related to the technical and organic compositions of capital given that it is implicit in the former and the later changes only as the former changes. Any technical composition designating some combination of machinery and living labor power must, concretely, involve some given division of labor; any change in the technical composition (or the associated organic composition) is likely to involve a change in the division of labor --though marginal changes may not, e.g., substitution of a more productive computer for a less productive one in a secretarial pool. The concepts of class composition, political recomposition and decomposition add to the analysis by emphasizing the
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structure and dynamic of power relations associated both with given divisions of labor (or technical compositions) and with changes in it. The class composition looks at the division of labor in terms of how it is associated with vertical hierarchies of power both among workers and between workers and capital. Political recomposition refers to the processes of struggle through which those hierarchies are altered, undermined or bypassed in such ways as to strengthen the workers as a class against capital. Decomposition refers to the processes through which capital may
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course ECON 357 taught by Professor Cleaver during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Old 3rd test - Part I: Relative Surplus Value 1. Within...

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