A redditor, jakehmw, tore into my argument on hours of labor. He/She made six pretty important points:
- While I argue that wage labor must be abolished, jakehmw points out that the proletarian sells their labor-power for a wage out of necessity due to their being propertyless. This cannot change, he asserts, until the means of production are under common ownership. The proletarians must always compete with each other, being propertyless.
- jakehmw says my argument on the abolition of wage-labor and intra-proletarian competition is nothing new. Communism has always been defined as an association of producers producing for use. My ideas in this vein are just a rehash of Marx’s early works.
- jakehmw asserts that my view Marx suggested depressed wages and competition were linked to overly long hours of labor, (“the more he works, the less wages he receives”), is not entirely correct. Marx did not intend to show that workers are displaced by overly long hours of work, says jakehmw, but by the development of machinery and the division of labor.
- jakehmw thinks the abolition of labor cannot be brought about by a progressive reduction of hours of labor to zero. To abolish wage labor, the means of production must become the commonly owned property of society. Reducing the working day to zero only results in an impossible halting of both the production of use-values and value.
- In jakehmw view, the proletariat can abolish itself only by abolishing private property and bringing society’s means of production under common ownership. With this abolition of private enterprises, commodity production must cease to exist out of necessity, since production, having become common property, is consciously regulated as opposed to the law of value and the fetishism of commodities.
- Finally, jakehmw takes exception to my idea that the working class must take control of its labor power. He points out that labor-power is one’s ability to perform labor which is reproduced through the material reproduction of one’s physical capabilities and the mental reproduction of one’s mind and senses through socializing, etc. It is both their mind and body — how can that be common property?
Let me say at the outset that, by and large, I accept most of the propositions outlined in these critical statements, although I might quibble with a formulation here or there.
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