[ overboard / cytube] [ leftypol / b / hobby / tech / edu / games / anime / music ] [ meta ] [ GET / ref]

/edu/ - Education

Learn, learn, and learn!
Name
Email
Subject
Comment
Flag
File
Embed
Password (For file deletion.)


File: 1608528366534.jpg (64.45 KB, 750x640, 4c0ed174f5bd4bb0d4b69000dd….jpg)

 No.4121

Explain what Marx meant by "abstract labour". Me too unga bunga to understand.
>>

 No.4122

It's labour in general. Not some specific form of labour (like digging a hole), but any forms of labour, it doesn't matter which.
>>

 No.4126

>>4121
>>4122

abstract labor is labor that doesn't create value in a commodity, concrete labor on the other hand creates value

janitor vs assembly line worker
>>

 No.4127

>>4126
This is wrong.
> Along with the useful qualities of the products themselves, we put out of sight both the useful character of the various kinds of labour embodied in them, and the concrete forms of that labour; there is nothing left but what is common to them all; all are reduced to one and the same sort of labour, human labour in the abstract.
This is from Capital, first chapter.
>>

 No.4130

>>4127
"If then we leave out of consideration the use value of commodities, they have only one common property left, that of being products of labour. But even the product of labour itself has undergone a change in our hands. If we make abstraction from its use value, we make abstraction at the same time from the material elements and shapes that make the product a use value; we see in it no longer a table, a house, yarn, or any other useful thing. Its existence as a material thing is put out of sight. Neither can it any longer be regarded as the product of the labour of the joiner, the mason, the spinner, or of any other definite kind of productive labour. Along with the useful qualities of the products themselves, we put out of sight both the useful character of the various kinds of labour embodied in them, and the concrete forms of that labour; there is nothing left but what is common to them all; all are reduced to one and the same sort of labour, human labour in the abstract."

Abstract labor exists as an abstraction of concrete labor, labor towards creating value from a commodity. Concrete labor is the labor that creates use-value from a commodity, it creates a commodity's physical properties. Abstract value, however, is ABSTRACTED from concrete labor, it is the labor of the entire productive labor of a human society as a whole rather than labor for the purpose of creating value out of a commodity. We can use abstraction of the concrete labor used to create two commodities (Marx uses corn and iron) to be able to compare the use-value and exchange value of a commodity. Concrete labor is socially necessary labor, it is fundamentally required to create value in a commodity, whereas abstract labor contains a multitude of labor that may not directly correlate with the value of a commodity, because it contains the entirety of labor. Concrete labor creates use-value, value on the basis of the expenditure of labor and the physical properties of a commodity, whereas abstract labor creates through the totality of labor the exchange value of a commodity, through comparing the concrete labor put into any commodities, and the labor required to create them, compared with the total abstract labor.
>>

 No.4131

>>4130
Abstract labor is how society derives how it should exchange two products based on their use-value, their exchange value. Concrete labor is the actual labor used to create use-value.
>>

 No.4133

To give a concrete (har har) example, think of a car. A car is a commodity produced to make a profit. When Toyota directs its workers to make a car, they're utilizing a tremendous array of different kinds of labor - some of which is directly employed by them, like the assembly line workers and the engineers, and some of which is indirect, such as the labor required to extract minerals from the earth or to create specialized parts that Toyota order from other firms rather than makes itself.

We can think of this mass of labor as a certain quantity - as a homogenous quantity once we *abstract* away from the particular kinds of acts people do - and if a firm finds a way of making a similar product with less of this amount, they can produce it more cheaply in real terms and undercut Toyota. So this is why abstract labor regulates prices under markets - we can, and firms do, compare different amounts of qualitatively different employed labor to guide decisions about what gets produced and what prices they exchange at.

Now consider a hobbyist who repairs their own car for convenience or to mod it for fun. When they spend time understanding the how the car works, attaching and removing components, diagnosing a problem with it, and so on, they're performing various kinds of concrete labor that are, as concrete labor, similar to what employed workers in the Toyota supply chain are doing.

But although all abstract labor is also various kinds of concrete labor, not all concrete labor is abstract labor. The hobbyist's creating mods for himself or his friends is not regulated by the market in the same way.
>>

 No.4139

Marx distinguishes between concrete labor that produces use values and abstract labor that produces value.

Concrete labor is the labor that is actually performed. The real problem in Marxist value theory is to determine how actual concrete labor—real world human labor—is converted through the process of exchange of the products of that labor into abstract human labor.

One person can produce far more of a commodity of a given quality in a given amount of time than another person. People produce commodities with different use values involving different types of labor. No two people labor in exactly the same way or with the same productivity. Nor do they labor with the same productivity at all times. Some people work better in the morning than they do in the afternoon.

Does a person who takes more time than average to produce a given commodity of a given quality produce more value than a person who can produce the commodity in the average amount of time?

The case of a lazy shoemaker is often given to illustrate this point. Suppose in a given epoch under average conditions of production a shoemaker of average skill and industriousness can make one pair of shoes per hour. Assuming the workday is eight hours, the average shoemaker can make eight pairs of shoes per day.

But our lazy shoemaker makes only one pair of shoes every two hours, or only four shoes in an eight-hour workday. Does a pair of shoes of a given quality that takes two hours to produce by our lazy shoemaker represent twice the value of a pair of shoes made by an average shoemaker?

No, what Marx called the individual value of a pair of shoes made by the lazy shoemaker represents two hours of labor, but its social value is still only one hour of labor. In the marketplace, our shoemaker can’t sell the pair of shoes for twice the price simply because he or she is lazy. Therefore, over an eight-hour workday our lazy shoemaker is wasting four hours out of every eight hours worked. Of every 40 hours of concrete labor our lazy shoemaker performs, 20 hours consists of socially unnecessary labor.

Things would be no different if instead of a lazy shoemaker we had a lazy gold miner who produces the commodity whose use value is to serve as the money commodity. Suppose an average gold miner working under the average conditions of production of a given epoch can produce two ounces of gold in a 40-hour workweek. If a lazy gold miner produces one ounce of gold instead of the average of two ounces, our lazy gold miner will be wasting 20 hours of labor every week. Again, out of the 40 hours of concrete labor performed by our lazy gold miner, 20 hours would represent socially unnecessary labor.

Suppose, however, we reduce all concrete labor, the different types of labor producing different use values by workers, some “lazy,” some far more industrious than average, some producing gold, others producing shoes, into a common social substance—abstract human labor. This is human labor with all specific or concrete elements of the labor performed abstracted—that is, left out. This is exactly what happens in the process of commodity exchange.

Once we do this, we see that our lazy shoemaker and lazy gold miner, though they both put in a full 40-hour workweek in terms of their concrete labor, are as far as abstract labor is concerned only performing 20 hours of abstract value-producing labor.

Unique IPs: 1

[Return][Go to top] [Catalog] | [Home][Post a Reply]
Delete Post [ ]
[ overboard / cytube] [ leftypol / b / hobby / tech / edu / games / anime / music ] [ meta ] [ GET / ref]