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Archive for the ‘Capital Volume 1, Part 6: Wages’ Category

In comparing wages in different nations, we must […] take into account all the factors that determine changes in the amount of the value of labour-power; the price and extent of the prime necessities of life in their natural and historical development, the cost of training the workers, the part played by the labour of women and children, the productivity of labour, and its extensive and intensive magnitude. Even the most superficial comparison requires the prior reduction of the average daily wage for the same trades, in different countries, to a uniform working day. After this reduction of the daily wage to the same terms, the time-wage must again be translated into the piece-wage, as only the latter can be a measure both of the productivity and of the intensity of labour.

More (pdf: 63 KB): capital_v1_ch22

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‘The piece-wage is nothing but a converted form of the time-wage, just as the time-wage is a converted form of the value or price of labour-power.’ In other words, the difference between time-wages and piece-wages is a formal one. But this is not to say that these formal differences are unimportant. In fact, the piece-wage is a particularly deceptive with regard to the real relations behind the wage-form. Not only does the use-value that the capitalist buys from the worker appear to be labour already objectified in a product, but it seems as if the price of the labour is actually determined by the worker’s capacity to work.

More (pdf: 48 KB): capital_v1_ch21

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Wages take many forms: here (in this chapter and the next) we examine the two most important of them.

More (pdf: 61 KB): capital_v1_ch20

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We already established (in Chapter 7) that what the worker sells to the capitalist is not his labour but his labour-power – his capacity to labour, which is a commodity with the use-value of creating new value, and whose own value is less than the value it creates. Here we return to the same question from the angle of appearance, and examine how the wage-relation masks this reality.

More (pdf: 62 KB): capital_v1_ch19

 

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