What exactly is the marxist definition of wage labor...

What exactly is the marxist definition of wage labor? Is just getting a quantity of value for a quantity of labor wage labor? Is just getting a quantity of use values for a certain quantity of labor? How exactly are labor vouchers not a form of wage labor?

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Wage labour is exploitation in a market

When a worker sells their labour power to the owner of private property.

You sell your labour power for money.
You're supposed to ask how they aren't a form of money, but to the point: instead of a voucher imagine a personalized ID card recording eg. labour time. You can't exchange it with cards of other people, the "labour time" points there have an expiration date, once you spend said points in some product resource centre, they disappear forever rather than continuing to circulate.

What's the point of having expiration dates if it encourages vapid shortsighted consumerism, what if someone wants to save for something long-term?

To be more accurate, the points are not to be accumulated in general, I think it would definitely be some kind of expiration to prevent gaining lots of those points and then sitting on one's ass and doing nothing

The point of being rewarded for your work is that you live in such a way realises the benefits of it, in capitalism one may hoard commodities so that may speculate on it or as you say "save up" for something.

You are not truly alive when you are waiting idly for your paycheck, neither are you behaving freely when you hold onto wealth (or pay off debt) in anticipation of a luxury, your life is on hold till after.

It's also to ensure labour vouchers would be traded like a commodity ie a counter measure prevent markets organically arising and treating them like currency.

A labour that happens within Capitalist mode of production. I.e. definition of wage labour inherently includes definition of Capitalist mode of production.

No. Wage labourer has to sell his labour to Capitalist (because said labourer lacks MoP to independently produce) and then Capitalists sells product (as commodity) on the market.

I.e. simply being hired to do the job is not wage labour. The job in question has to be personally useless to the person who hires you (production for exchange).

You are asking about different things.

Labour vouchers are the reward for labour under Socialist mode of production.
Wage labour is the labour under Capitalist mode of production.

Reward for labour under Capitalist mode of production is money.

This is your personal opinion.

IRL Labour vouchers have to be exchangeable for consumer goods, but not industrial (i.e. MoP). That's all.

So if I work as a carpenter who sells his labor power to another person, however that person just wants me to build him a chair to sit on thats not wage labor?

Are you selling labour power or a chair? Because it seems that you are selling chair.

A person hired to build a chair doesn't own the chair or the materials. He would be selling the contruction of the chair not the chair itself.

Its just term to describe exchange of labour in return for a wage, while that wage can be anything you desire. Some edgy kids and retards who personally have nothing to offer for the kind of wage their desire obsess about it just because its the most immediate point of perceived "unfairness" they experience in their mind, as they mostly have a very infantil idea about economics or society and rarely never experienced any perspectives other thanmenial and brainless jobs of glorifed cattle and pidgeons.

That is still not proper wage labour, since this is not part of Capitalist mode of production, but that of simple commodity production.

Capitalist hires workers not to enjoy their work personally (production for use), but to sell products they make (production for exchange) - and use profit to increase his Capital (accumulation of Capital). It does not matter for Capitalist what exactly is being produced, the only point is that it is profitable - which is how Capitalist mode of production is the most "productive" pre-Socialist mode of production.

Consequently, if person in question intends to use the chair for himself, he does not buy labour-power (acting as impassionate Capitalist interested in work being done only as much as it gets him profit), but the service of creating chair.

We shouldn't allow them to circulate to make it less convenient to engage in illegal activities such as prostitution, my comrade.

Is simple commodity production something that actually existed? I thought it was just an abstraction Marx made at the start of capital volume 1.

So wage labor is selling your labor to someone who uses it to produce something for exchange? Where did you find this in Marx?

A better question would probably be "Where did Marx and Engels describe wage labour?" so you could get it unembellished by people's personal opinions.

It's not meant historically. It's just an abstraction, starting out simple to make it easier to understand.

Of course. It still does. Petit-Bourgeois are using simple commodity production. It basically means that you are producing commodities (goods/services for sale) directly.


An example very similar to the one that was asked about.

Marx, Theories of Surplus Value (1863):
NB: "Productive labour" in this case refers to the wage labour - labour within Capitalist mode of production.
> On the other hand if I buy the labour of a cook for her to cook meat, etc., for me, not to make use of it as labour in general but to enjoy it, to use it as that particular concrete kind of labour, then her labour is unproductive, in spite of the fact that this labour fixes itself in a material product and could just as well (in its result) be a vendible commodity, as it in fact is for the hotel proprietor.
> The great difference (the conceptual difference) however remains: the cook does not replace for me (the private person) the fund from which I pay her, because I buy her labour not as a value-creating element but purely for the sake of its use-value. Her labour as little replaces for me the fund with which I pay for it, that is, her wages, as, for example, the dinner I eat in the hotel in itself enables me to buy and eat the same dinner again a second time.

Alternatively, same place:

To elaborate, something like simple commodity production did and does exist in the sense that single-person business exists. But there is no known historical example of simple commodity production as a totality, as THE way some society was organized, which is how the term is usually meant and how I understand your question. Engels wrote in the introduction of Capital Volume Three that Marx assumed Capitalism to have developed historically from SCP, but that looks like a misinterpretation on Engels' part (Marx had died several years before its publication). See: marxmyths.org/chris-arthur/article2.htm

yeah thats what I meant with my question.

What the fuck should this mean?

Unless you are introducing "gift economies" into Marxism, economies of primitive tribal societies - that developed concept of private property (i.e. at least barter) due to division of labour, but did not transition to the slave labour yet - obviously were using simple commodity production.

That is not how the term is "usually meant". It is almost never used as a shorthand to refer to the tribal societies. The term is usually used to refer to what it actually means - to the mode of production. I.e. to define economic activity of Petit-Bourgeois.

> See: marxmyths.org/chris-arthur/article2.htm
Bullshit. When author starts accusing Engels of not understanding Marx - and declaring himself as the only one who understood Marx correctly after a century of Marxism - it's a red flag for anyone who is wary of revisionists.

The only misinterpretation in the article is author's. He assumes that simple commodity production needs to be named by name to be described. Which is dumb.

If you actually take first volume of Capital, you will see that the first part does not describe Capitalist mode of production at all. First three chapters deal exclusively with the market, with exchange-based economy: commodities, exchange, and money. And what is exchange-based economy in the absence of Capital, if not simple commodity production? That is what Marx was describing.

As for "historical presupposition" it would take an imbecile to pretend that you don't need to have some sort of exchange-based economy (even in the background) from which Capitalist mode of production can develop. It is obvious that Capitalism does not simply appear out of nowhere, but develops out of existing economic relations - which cannot be anything, but simple commodity production.

This Christopher J. Arthur needs a pickaxe to the head to cure his megalomania. Engels was absolutely correct in his description.

>When author starts accusing Engels of not understanding Marx - and declaring himself as the only one who understood Marx correctly after a century of Marxism - it's a red flag for anyone who is wary of revisionists.
We have more of the writings of Marx available today than what the earliest Marxists built on. Or do you believe Lenin had access to all what's in the MEGA? Chris Arthur's position is that the simplicity of the system in the beginning of Capital is done as a didactic decision and not meant to closely follow the order of a historical development. He claims that Engels confused this matter of presentation with historical development when writing the preface of Capital Volume 3. Arthur has detailed knowledge not only about Capital 1 & 2 & 3, but the various manuscripts that were used by Engels for Volume 2 & 3, both published after the death of Marx.
Engels didn't just slip in a word here or there:
>The only occurrence of the term ‘simple commodity production’ in the whole three volumes of Capital occurs in Volume III, but this is in a passage given to us subsequent to Engels’s editorial work, as he himself warns us in a note.[8] It is now possible to check this against the manuscript itself, which has been published in the new Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA). It is clear that the entire paragraph was inserted by Engels (as, indeed, was the one on the next page about capital’s ‘historical mission’).[9] Later in the text Engels also inserted the phrase ‘and commodity production in general’.[10]

< discussion is about first chapters of Das Kapital
Fuck off.

It is both. Historical development begun with the simplest economic operations.

Poor Engels. If only he had access to the works of Marx, or - at least - had a talk with the guy. OH WAIT

There is a controversy among Marx researchers to what extent the early part of Capital is meant as representing historical development, and to what extent a choice taken by Marx to show the logical structure of Capitalism.
Einleitung zur Kritik der politischen Ökonomie:
„Es wäre also untubar und falsch, die ökonomischen Kategorien in der Folge aufeinander folgen zu lassen, in der sie historisch die bestimmenden waren. Vielmehr ist ihre Reihenfolge bestimmt durch die Beziehung, die sie in der modernen bürgerlichen Gesellschaft aufeinander haben, und die genau das umgekehrte von dem ist, was als ihre naturgemäße erscheint oder der Reihe der historischen Entwicklung entspricht. Es handelt sich nicht um das Verhältnis, das die ökonomischen Verhältnisse in der Aufeinanderfolge verschiedener Gesellschaftsformen historisch einnehmen.“
Here Marx says that it would be wrong to show economic categories in historical order, rather it's about relations existing in the modern bourgeois capitalist order.

This comment on the controversy points out that the story classical economists like Adam Smith liked to tell about ancient hunters and fishers exchanging their stuff as individual producer-owners is a myth and references Karl Polanyi.

If the beginning of Capital is not meant to show a more abstracted simplified capitalism, but is really meant to describe something historically earlier than capitalism proper, then why doesn't he use people hunting this or that animal, like the classical economists? Instead he talks about tailors and weavers.

As I said, it's obviously both, but we seem to have a bit of a misunderstanding here. Apparently, the fault is mine (if the term "historical development" is usually used to refer to hunter-gatherers, as the article you linked suggests - and I already did mention tribal societies, though in a different context).

Historical development that I mentioned refers to the exchange-based economy from which Capitalism developed. To put it more clearly (given context) it is the one that existed alongside Feudal mode of production, rather than the implication of some unbroken line of descent from tribal societies (which weren't particularly well-researched during Marx's time anyway, and he hated dealing with conjectures). By the way, this explains why it is not hunter-gatherers that are described by Marx.

I'm quite certain he refers to other stuff (primarily, Feudal mode of production) being skipped. I.e. this bears no relevance to the topic at hand.


Please, read my post:

If you are referring to the

Then listed quotes do not contradict me, unless you are going to argue that all primitive societies rely on common property.