imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Secret, Ignored Value of Labor

by Gary Sudborough Friday, Apr. 10, 2009 at 7:30 PM
IconoclastGS@aol.com

For centuries the means of production have been owned by only a few individuals. This has led to spectacular robberies like those apparent at the present time to a quiet, ignored theft of the true value of labor by the capitalists.

To give a logical answer as to why laboring people are not paid nearly the real value of their labor, I need to go back in history and give a basic scientific explanation of the situation. As most people know the energy that powers life on Earth comes from the sun, and is trapped by photosynthesis in plants, and animals by consuming plants or other animals obtain this energy. This energy enables animals to move, and in certain animals like human beings to do what is known as work.



Why is this labor necessary? Because human beings are born into this world naked and frail and with a multitude of wants and needs necessary for their survival. Other mammals have fur to protect from the environment, many are much stronger or swifter or like humans band together for their survival. Human beings must have food for energy, shelter to protect from the environment, clothing for the cold and because they are intelligent, entertainment and culture and because they are curious animals, scientific needs to try and understand the universe and why they exist



In order to meet the basic needs, humans cannot just lay back and bask in the sun and expend a minimal of energy. They must either grow crops, gather fruits and vegetables from the environment or do hunting and fishing. They must learn how and expend energy in making clothes and building shelters. This is the first primitive form of work. Initially, they all labored together and shared the results of their labor in common. This was what Marx called primitive communism.



Gradually, with the development of agriculture and more productive methods of increasing yields like irrigation and the saving of seeds of the better plants, a surplus of food was produced and not every human needed to labor. Then, came the con artists and the people who could make people believe their right to rule and not work was derived from God or those who were powerful enough physically and had better weapons and could rule those that did work to provide human needs. It is well known that kings in medieval Europe believed that they ruled by divine right. The nobles thought that they were almost a separate species of animal (blue bloods and gentlemen) and had the right to rule over the rabble-the lower classes of working people. Because of this utter disdain for the serfs the nobles could treat them abominably, rape their daughters, run over them in their horse-driven vehicles of various descriptions, tax them heavily and take away most of the crops they produced. The nobles lived luxurious lives on the best food, went to balls and danced, gambled and engaged in every sort of sensual pleasure while the producers of their wealth had to watch their children starve to death or die of disease. This is the beginning of the robbery of labor, although it goes much further back to slavery in the Greek and Roman empires.

As an illustration of the value of labor, let us suppose a medieval craftsman spent much more time and effort on a chair or cabinet and used more intricate designs. This chair or cabinet would necessarily have much more value than one where less effort was used.

Now, however Man's inventive mind was able to create the designs for mass production machinery. The inventors, however, except in very rare cases, were not the owners of this new mass production machinery. The owners were the ones who had by that time robbed the continents of Africa, Asia and South America of much of their wealth in gold, silver and other precious commodities, and also for centuries had been robbing the serfs of Europe of the value of their labor.

These rich capitalists needed to pay their workers only the survival value of their labor- that is the amount of money which would enable the workers to show up for work the next day. Let us assume that the amount of labor necessary for minimal shelter and food was two hours of work. Then, all the rest of the hours of the day's labor of workers was pure profit for the capitalists. Therefore, they worked people twelve and sometimes sixteen hours a day as this was surplus value as Marx called it. The only limit was that laborers needed sleep not to break down and machinery didn't. Consequently, they often hired two shifts a day to make even more profit. They often hired children because they had nimble fingers and could do delicate work faster. Also, because women and children caused less labor problems than men. In China the capitalists could work people to death in toxic environments because they had such a surplus of labor. I remember British health inspector's documenting conditions for little Chinese children in match factories, where they got phophorus burns all over their bodies. Upon death they were simply thrown on the trash heap for the dogs to eat.

As one can easily observe, workers are continually being robbed of the value of their labor, not just by people like Bernie Madoff or corporations like Enron or banks or mortgage companies, but everyday they go to work, as they are not being compensated adequately.

Labor unions have attempted to compensate for this imbalance to some extent, but workers really need to own and operate these factories themselves as they are essentially owned by thieves extending far back into history.

There is a whole mythology of sophisticated economic arguments built up to contradict Marx, but it is just so much obfuscation, done by well-paid sycophants of the owners of society. Some point to sports stars or Hollywood actors or gambing and bribery as departures from Marx's theory of value. This is just the idle rich playing with their fortunes. If all the common workers would lay down their tools and shut off their machines, the economy would halt, showing whose labor is really valuable.

Authors like Dickens, Hugo, Upton Sinclair, Emile Zola and others all pointed to the miserable and degrading treatment of the poor. To quote Charles Dickens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of reason, it was the age of foolishness, it was an epoch of faith, it was an epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." How little things have changed. For thousands of years it has been the winter of despair for poor, working people. Enough! There is no natural law that precludes humanity from perishing from the Earth like the dinosaurs.



Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy