On value

How would the value of things be calculated under socialist society? How would pay for workers be calculated?
How would a socialist society prevent workers from over paying themselves, and what types of rules regulating democratically managed industry would we see in a planned socialist economy?

Other urls found in this thread:


Things won't have value and workers won't be paid.


Serious answers please.

It was a serious answer

No, it was a shitpost


This is why market socialism is a thing, anarkiddies.

There's a reason why i'm asking questions at all.

Baboon peoples will be paid in bananas, and people will be paid with people things! Bye bye ba.boons, you're returning to the ape exhibit!

By the amount of labour that went into its production.
I think some sort democratically elected open source program for determining price would do well enough to carry us into communism.

I am no anarchist

I love your posts.

Would that include aggregate labor in products? And if so, would that mean workers that aquire raw materials would be paid much less than assembly line workers?

Value is a specific social form of the product of labour.

t. Marx

So how would payment for labor work? Labor vouchers? And how would the 'price' of goods be calculated in a socialist system?

Don't think so
Well that is not what it would mean even if so. The amount of labour put into a hammer comes in part from each labourer. Whether he finishes it or starts doesn't matter.

Ideally you'd have some sort of voucher system set up by the cooperative society to serve as a method of bookkeeping. I think how one would distribute social labour would largely be contingent on the particular cooperative society and its relations to others (or its relation to others as a subset of one big cooperative society).

This guy thinks money is a way to ensure that what you take from society's aggregate labor pool you put back in an equal amount in the form of your own labor. There are problems with including already completed labor in the value added of laborers down the production chain as you've mentioned. But there are also problems with only crediting each worker with the labor performed during his step of the production chain as this could incentivise overproduction… Which might not be a bad thing as long as the overproduction is within reasonable limits. Not like chinese concrete overproduction.

That is what Marx sugests in the very next paragrah.

Actually I don't think it makes sense to include already performed labor in payment. Example:
It takes 1 hour mine minerals to produce 1 corn, and 1 hour to assemble the minerals into 1 corn. Worker A mines for 2 hours and creates enough minerals for 2 corn, and earns a value of 2. Worker B works for 2 hours and assembles 2 corn, and earns a value of 4 since we include the value of worker A's labor. This does not add up since 2 corn has a value of 4 but the total credited value to workers A and B is now 6. Only the value added labor should be counted in payment. If we do that then in the above scenario 4 value of corn is produced and 4 value is credited to the workers.

This is from "Critique of the Gotha Programme" right? I really should read that again.

And the amount of pay could be calculated via direct labor, while the value of the product would be aggregate labor?

Pretty sure they're supposed to allign, as in, the price of a product will be equal to the amount of labour that has been put into its production.

Actually in the next paragraph (lol)

If we have a cooperative overproducing grain to an uneccesary degree, the community would step in to regulate that, right?

But pay is still only direct labor, or rather "labor value added", correct?

I really should go back and read Gotha again. Thank you for the information though.

I think the next question should be:

How will administrative work be paid?

There is going to be a lot of essencial labour that does not produce a product, and I guess that's something society decides to spend their taxes on or do in their spare time.

The problem is trivial in state socialism, the state would control all industry so it would be immediately obvious what stuff should cost (the price of manufacturing it, plus negative externalities, plus 'tax' used to pay for public services)

Could administrative labor be paid based on the "average intensity" of an industry?

For example, in order to calculate average intensity we would take the number of a specific product produced yearly, divide that by the number of workers directly producing to find the average amount of products produced every year per worker. Then we would take that number and divide it by the amount of average working hours to find the average amount of products produced every hour by every worker. Average intensity would be equivalent to average pay because workers are paid based on what they produce.

When we want to pay the administrator we could pay them 25% of the average pay, times the number of workers they are organizing for. If we have the specific admin job of ordering raw materials we could pay them based on 25% of the value of 1 unit of whatever material they are ordering times the number of units they order.

…how about we just pay everybody the same?

How is state control better than worker control?

How about we pay people based on what they produce?

I think you are taking things too far here. The goal isn't to find the most super fairest pay possible, but to achieve a society where your work doesn't need to be paid.

Work must always be paid - but not always in currency.

Also from CotGP

Why? If nobody picked up garbage for example we'll soon be in a situation where it becomes so unbearable that somebody will do it for its intrinsic value. Why pay somebody to do it when it being done is its own reward?

I'll be re-reading all of CotGP soon.

Because they are making a contribution to society.

If all I do is post on leftypol and the guy who gets fed up and picks up the trash only did so because he had motivation from my posts does that mean I should get half of his pay? If I didn't inspire him he wouldn't have done it. How do you measure that?


We calculate average intensity for picking up trash, and equate that to the average intensity of every other job and make pay based on that.

To prevent someone who chooses to pick up trash being paid as much as an architect we can add an effort multiplier. If it takes 4000 times as long to design a bridge than it takes to assemble an iphone at average intensity, than the bridge engineer will be paid 4000 times more than the iphone worker because his work is 4000 times more valuable.


Except that architect cannot do his job if there's trash everywhere, and neither he nor the trash guy can do their work if I didn't inspire the trash guy with witty banter. Sounds like I deserve half of their pay since I'm the keystone for them doing their work. My job is the most important of all. You're also not taking into consideration the necessary recharge time on the trash guy doing the trash labor compared to the architect. Manual labor is difficult and needs time for the body to rest.

Now we're reaching an unrealistic situation. In reality people who pick up trash are likely to do so as a temporary job under socialism. Or the job could simply be automated. The manual worker is always worth something, and as shown earlier in this thread, value added should be a workers pay. The bridge engineer adds more value to the bridge than the manual worker adds to whatever product he's making, so the bridge engineer should be paid more.

How does the bridge engineer add more value than the people building and supplying resources to the bridge? How does the bridge engineer add more value than the people who allow the bridge engineer to exist, like farmers, transportation, the people who taught him engineering, the scientists researching everything that deals with bridge making or the conditions that allow for bridge making to exist, the entertainment that maintains his sanity, etc etc. You're acting like this bridge architect is a paranormal phenomenon like a god who exists outside the material conditions shaping him. It baffles the mind.

No, it means it takes 4000 times longer to finish the job.


imagine my shock

It takes 4000 times as long for a reason. Even if at average intensity the bridge engineer put in no more labor than the manual laborer per hour, producing his product would still take longer and therefore more labor. That means his product is more valuable, and from the value generated by the engineer should come his pay, so his pay will be more valuable.

Still ignoring the fact that his work doesn't exist inside a vacuum I see. It makes far more sense to give each according to their need and receive from each according to their ability. There are far too many unmeasurable variables that allow these supposed golden gods of value to exist. Meritocracy simply doesn't make sense since we aren't all knowing.

No, your logic is all over the place. The amount of labour he puts into the bridge determines his pay. If he works 4000 hours on the bridge he will recieve 4000 hours of labour vouchers. And the guy that assembles iphones will assemble 4000 iphones in 4000 hours and recieve 4000 hours of labour vouchers.

But whoose work is more valuable? The center of my argument is that the bridge engineers product takes longer to produce than that of the iphone assembler. Less hours of labor are contained in each iphone than each bridge design. Therefore the engineer's labor is more valuable.

We are accounting for the engineer's labor in designing the bridge independently. We are accounting for the iphone assembler's labor value added. My argument depends upon labor not existing in a vacume because what I am trying to do is measure the relation of one type of labor's value to another type of labor's value.

One hour of labor is worth one hour. 4000 hours to make a bridge is worth 4000 hours to make x amount of phones. Even then not everyone has equal needs and abilities though. You're arguing that a disabled person from a poor family capable of very little but trying their hardest every single second deserves less than some lazy rich entitled brat who skates by and only has skills afforded to him by his parent's wealth. Even though the rich kid needs significantly less than the disabled one he gets more? Just doesn't make sense to me.

How would a socialist society prevent workers from over paying themselves, and what types of rules regulating democratically managed industry would we see in a planned socialist economy?

No, how do you come to this conclusion?
It *might* be more valueable, but it is not more valueable because some bridge took longer to make.
You're completely missing the point. An hour of work is an hour of work. Some has higher intensity, not because they work on big projects, but because they are physically or mentally exhausting.

A lazy brat probably won't get anywhere in a socialist society where the most qualified get to the highest points in society. What I'm saying is that someone who provides something worth a grater value than the average product should be paid an above average amount, i might be wrong, idk.

Will read. Thanks for pdf.

You've got a point there. My questions are:

1- Should producing a product higher in value (or rather adding a higher value through labor) than average *not* mean higher than average pay? If so, why?

2- How can intensity of labor be measured across different industries? How can i objectivly say that worker A works at a higher/lower or the same intensity making iphones than worker B does making boxes?

In addition the reason i am saying the engineer's labor is more valuable is because it takes more time and effort to produce the engineer's product. It also takes more education and more labor put into that education by others.

It is also more important.

I think you might be confused about the basic differences between socialism/communism and capitalism. Socialism doesn't operate upon a belief of meritocracy because socialism acknowledges that individuals are a product of their environment, genetic data, and other material conditions. Socialism tries to minimize the effects of the material conditions lottery everyone plays upon birth. Leveling the playing field is the main goal of the motto "to each according to their need and from each according to their ability". It means to try and pitch in to society where you're able and to try and not take more than you need. Payment and wages, or money in general, is a byproduct of capitalism and socialism seeks to abolish it. To understand why you should check out the reading list stickies, they have a ton of useful info.

I see.That's roughly what i thought "Feattateattn" meant. But production still must be incentivized somehow, correct? Why would the bridge designer want to design bridges if he is paid the same as a worker that does not need to apply as much effort per hour of labor, and assembles iphones nearly thoughtlessly?

And in addition to that, in our level playing field (which I 100% support) will the "better players" come out ahead with a higher "pay"?

Because if nobody builds bridges then bridges won't exist. People like bridges, they have a use value and will be made even if nobody bribes them. If you need to incentivize people to do something or it wouldn't get done then chances are it just wouldn't happen, and so what? If nobody wants bridges badly enough to make it themselves then why should they exist? Same with iphones, people will want phones to exist so why bribe someone to make them with the threat of death looming over them if they don't comply?

If people take what they need and give what they can I don't see how there can be winners or losers. Probably if someone takes pride in their work they'll try to compete with others in their field to make better products for fun but at least it isn't a life or death scenario like capitalism forces on people.

The value of the product he produces is the same as he recieves in labour vouchers for producing it.
It can't reliably as it is different for different people. Some people hate doing one job and would find it very exhausting while others would not.
I don't know how people will specifically calculate what each hour of labour embodies in each industry, I'd say this is a job for history untill we no longer need the voucher system.

Yo in advanced socialism where we have all the good shit, workers would be "paid" with free access to all the shit they need.
Luxuries n the like (non essential+ shit like idk fucking LCD TVs) would be paid for with labour vouchers.
Admin work would either be done by computers of in people's spare time. Maybe they would get a bonus or some shit idk.
Socialism would prevent workers from overpaying themselves because labour vouchers don't work like money.

Or we could just gib free shot to everyone.

Yes, so it takes longer to do, it doesn't change his hourly reward.
Not necessarily.
The education will either be paid for by the community, or was paid for by the capitalist system. The teacher was paid, so that does not influence the value of the bridge.

So afraid of the word communism?

I think you could ask prety much any engineer today if he'd rather build bridges or assemble iphones at 15$/hour he would build bridges.

Nah because in communism all us niggas in post scarcity and also in space so we all will get free whatever we fuckin want

But is an additional incentive needed? Should we reward the designer of a bridge with a certain amount of labor credits for good work? If I apply twice the effort in my work than another person would I be 'paid' twice as much labor credits?

And if someone takes pride in their work, but instead of working longer or harder would rather just get through the day and go see their family, what's their incentive to work harder? Why would they want to work harder when it keeps them away from their families for longer?

The quote "He who does not work shall not eat" comes to mind here. Does that apply?

And would the farm workers and other food producers be paid with tax money? Would it be per beet harvested or whatever?

I see. But does the student's own effort mean nothing in terms of pay? How would skilled labor be compensated for effort? And how can we measure unskilled labor next to skilled labor in intensity?

Yes, the value of a product produced under socialism is equal to the average amount of labour that went into its production.

More CotGP

But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.
I think the welfare state the socialist economy can produce under modern industrial conditions are going to make a lot of the "survival" aspect of work vanish almost immidiately, though food production will probably be very expensive for a while as we stop expoiting the third world and we need to rebuild that part of our industry.

Nah. They get what they need to live a healthy life but they don't get the real good shit unless someone willingly gives it to them.
Able to work but don't? You ain't gettin good internet.

Double post
Also remember we must develop unique solutions to the region (for lack of a better term) we are building socialism in.

Well, where I'm from students already are compensated for studying. I think that would transition very well into a socialist economy.
This is the thing I don't understand. Why do people want skilled labour to be compensated more? I don't want people to aquire skills related to commodity production.

Shieet nigga I's in

Terrible format, only the last 2 lines are mine, the two before are part of the quote.

I really dislike the idea of labor credits, I don't see much of a difference between them and currency tbh. Building a better product is its own reward and shouldn't have to be bribed. Bribing only encourages planned obsolescence and installing the need for constant needless repairs to ensure job security. The point of work should be to minimize further work and so building a longer lasting more durable bridge should be encouraged. This means that the bridge itself should be the incentive for work, not extra payment.
And if someone takes pride in their work, but instead of working longer or harder would rather just get through the day and go see their family, what's their incentive to work harder? Why would they want to work harder when it keeps them away from their families for longer?
I can only speak for myself but I actually enjoy work, I enjoy a job well done and improving the efficiency and quality of my products. Being with the family too long can get boring really quickly and I like to do things to contribute, it makes me feel good. I don't need further incentives to work so long as my basic needs are met. In fact my work is much better when I'm not afraid of starvation or debt or other worries. Just let me live with what I'll need and I'll contribute where I can for that warm sense of meaning.

shcok status: imagined

read marx

I have and still disagree with labor vouchers, I don't see why they are needed. Maybe I don't know something you do know however so could you explain what I don't know?

Why would food be expensive? Yes, the demand is up there but supply is down but has the labor content of a bit of bread changed? Or does this tie into black markets?

And i notice Marx says:
>Thus, with an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right, instead of being equal, would have to be unequal.

Does Marx mean that the richer person would not have material wealth?

So if i were a student i would be entitled to a certain amount of labor vouchers and access to regular food and such because I am persuing a career of my choice?

And what I meant in regards to skilled labor was that if I went through the stress and effort of becoming an engineer - would i be paid for that as a student or as an engineer?

Did Marx write anything about this? Incentives under a socialist/communist system?

And for unpleasant jobs, why would anyone want to do those? Would there just be a lottery every week for cleaning the public bathrooms or something?

So if a man chooses to not work but has the ability to he might live in a bare minimum for survival concrete room - but at least he is not begging for food on the street or extracting surplus value?

Well I think it is pretty unavoidable that the idea of reward for more labor will be preserved at least for a while. Its pretty utopian for us to think we can go from money to nothing over night. It doesn't really matter wether you like them or not some system like them will probally be implemented directly after the revolution.

I ended up doing a search for labor vouchers to see what I was missing before your post and I find myself agreeing more with the criticisms than the argument that they're necessary.

A lot of food production is done in the third world and exported to first world countries, making food very cheap here. And if we wanna Not wreck the soil we have with crappy chemicals, we'll also have to cut back some there. Basically untill we can have some proper high tech industrial green farming, food will be expensive I think.
That's how I would do it as Supreme Socialist Friend of the People.

Why would this necessarily be painful or stressful?

So because we won't save costs in the third world, and we won't save labor but destroy what enables labor, in this case soil, with chemicals, we will need to raise the labor cost of production and/or currency cost of production and therefore make food more expensive to produce?

Good point, i suppose education can be engineered to be neither.

No, I mean if we as a society stop abusing the third world for cheaper resources, we will naturally see that food production requires more labour than most of us think is needed to sutain us. Some major efforts will need to be taken to effectivize food industries, especially if we also want to cut back on our rather gross treating of our livestock.

So the labor-price of food remains the same, but the real price goes up because we are now expressing price in labor rather than currency?

Das wut I dink

OP, please excuse the faggotry of newfags with an elitist attitude towards people with genuine questions that are just not aquainted with our language.
Have some beginners literature
After studying some you can read this

They aren't great but they are better than money and allow us to ration until productive forces have been built up so "from each according to their ability to each according to their need" can be used.

Thank you


i could just start quoting. it's not even 7 AM at my place. just came for shitposting.
at least i'm giving him something, a "beginners guide" even, and don't ridicule him with greentext expecting him to already know the basics.

I see very little ridicule in this thread.

only read the first bunch of posts, dunno man.

1st. Legit no one would just sit in a house and not do work out of spite.
2nd. They would probably get an apartment. Not aha lavish one but a perfectly liveable one (not a fucking cell or bare concrete room etc).
They probably wouldn't have a good TV or internet but they would have access to food and the means to earn the stuff they want.

Assuming there is avalible housing. If not, they would be lower on the housing departments/peoples collective or what have Yous list

I guess so

Not quite. First of, I'd make a distinction between humans and things. Since people can't survive on nothing, we have to ensure in some way that they can always obtain at least the minimum, a crude supply-and-demand program hacked together by the glorious leader's nephew in Visual Basic doesn't necessarily guarantee that. Besides, if time worked is left entirely to some market mechanism, you get weird results like backward-bending labor-supply curve. (If I loathe working and have no expensive hobbies and can choose the amount of time I work, paying me more will result me reducing the time I work). I think that there will be a minimum amount that you'll have to work as a duty (doesn't mean strictly fixed per week, and there can still be things like a sabbatical), and market-like mechanisms will only be allowed within the boundary of such regulations.

Now about the consumer things. First of, no matter what econ101 tells you, in the real world prices that change all the time are considered extremely annoying by normal people. There needs to be a buffer. The first priority with things that are over- or under-produced relative to demand is to adjust the quantity produced, and only when the buffer stock for a thing is about to reach an extreme state should prices be changed away from the standard cost-covering price.

What is the standard cost-covering price? You have to consider that it is really something intrinsic to the individual product. You can expect a machine that is involved in producing millions of widgets to break down at some point, and it needs to be replaced then. The cost of the replacement is of course not something to be covered entirely by the price of only the last widget that came out of it. These replacement costs are estimated and the sales price of the sum of these widgets should cover that. We also aim to cover the cost of job training necessary for making a product by the selling price of the product.

Since people don't individually pay for their own job training, they do not get higher remuneration for their skilled labor, even though the products are priced higher than products of unskilled labor. People get basically the same remuneration per hour, with some bonus for effort (estimated by colleagues). Consider two factories that produce the same item, but one has less fancy technology. Like in capitalism, the price of the item will be the same, no matter which factory it comes from. We can expect people in the factory with the outdated tech to produce less, and that's the standard by which we judge them: What can we expect of you, given the tools you have to work with? So, unlike with capitalism or competing co-ops, people will tend to get the same remuneration in these two factories.

The other features that distinguish money from labor vouchers only really become available to those who have accumulated a certain amount, in other words the difference doesn't look meaningful to you because you aren't rich.

Thanks for extra information all.

>Thus, with an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right, instead of being equal, would have to be unequal.

What did Marx mean by this?

He means that socialism will be stamped with the injustices of capitalism.

…Is that what he actually means?

That is very obviously what he means.
Last part of the quote:

Ok. But would a worker who is twice as productive as the worker next to him be 'paid' twice as much? I think I'm missing something here.

Yes he would.

I see. But in what? Marx said that two workers with different ability would be equal in the social consumption fund, but one would be richer than the other in lower phase communism. How? And in higher phase communism would the more productive worker still be 'paid' more?

Marx is saying equal labor will have an equal draw from the social consumption fund. Therefore, people's natural differences will cause one person to draw less than the other(they perform different intensities or lengths of work). In higher phase communism the maxim 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need' rules social production and distribution. So no, people will not be rewarded differently for different work or nonwork in higher phase communism. I think its likely you will see a free use sector, co-op sector, nationalized sector etc. with the latter two types being more common and as time moves on and the necessity for the latter types will shrink, with more things moving to the free use sector, hence towards the higher phase of communism.

Oh, now I see. So the harder worker would draw more from the consumption fund because he needs more.

But what constitutes a need?

This can be read in two ways:
1. We are comparing different individual workers, some with kids and some without, society is ignoring that one may have no kids or a few or many; so the different workers get the same remuneration for doing the same amount of work, but one individual is richer than the other in terms of budget left for himself because he doesn't have to take care of kids with his income.
2. We are comparing families that are different in size, society is taking into account how many kids you have if any; despite doing the same amount of work the workers' families get different amount consumption budgets because of the kids, so one of them is richer than another in terms of the budget he receives (before considering that he has to spend a lot of it on his kids).
I think the sentence by itself is meant in the 1st way, but consider the context. Marx wrote about a what-if scenario of a communist revolution happening around the time of writing, and the immediate situation after the overthrow of the old order. Some sentences before that:
I'm pretty sure that Marx had in mind that one of the first modifications to the pure principle of according to work would be helping people with children.

Doesn't matter. From each acording to his ability, to each acording to his need is a way of life that can only be achieved when people stop asking questions such as this.


Well essentially, yeah. The person who works at higher intensity or works more hours will receive more vouchers than a person works less hours or less intensely. So they will be able to draw more from the social stock than the other person.
A better translation is probably 'wants' rather than 'needs'. Essentially once labor has become freely associated without need for any measures of exchange people will draw freely from the social stock without regards to work done.

So at the point where the worker's objective is not to be paid - but to work we will have reached full comunism? This sounds actually possible. People get jobs most of the time because they are interested in the job. For example a biology student's goal isn't to earn money through being a biologist - it is to be a biologist.

So what would hsppen if we have someone drawing an excess amount of bread from the public stock? Would they be brought before a court?

Ok. So in this phase of society we would have the kind of system where because two men who work the same duration and intensity are paid the same but one has a fsmily to support - the one with a family would functionally be paid less.

Pretty much. But an important part of it is also
The biologist is no longer a biologist, but a citizen that does biology stuff sometimes.

When a fully flourishing communist system is in place, no one would have any need to take excessively. The communal stock will be open exactly because there is an abbundance. If a guy takes two pieces of bread and can only eat one, he has gained nothing and will probably not do it again. If he does, he will probably find that pissing off his community is not worth having to clean out your rotting bread.

So instead of saying "I am a biologist" I would say "I have a biology degree and often work in Biology."

Tbh this makes much more sense than the current system.

And I can see how the public consumption pool would work now, thank you. If we have one member of the community who for whatever reason is taking uneccesary amounts of food - such as taking half the entire bread stockpile and forcing those eho now don't have bread to work for him - They eould be brought before a court, trialed, and then likely convicted.

Yes, though I imagine a very rapid development of a welfare to support families.

Also think though, this would probably not even be necessary. We think of things this way now, because our consumption is limited by money. So of course with the mindset you see now, the first thing you think is 'Oh well if it's free someone will probably take a bunch for themselves!' and that is because we do live in a society where hoarding can be helpful because the availability of commodities to you may stop or slow down at some point. But in communism? What reason do I have to take a bunch baseball bats or whatever it is. They would just sit in your house doing nothing. You don't see people taking all of the toothpicks out of the toothpick jar at a restaurant do you? No because they are free and easy to get anywhere you would need it, and it isn't worth anything to anyone else because they can also grab a free toothpick. And while you might see someone say take a bunch of toothpicks at once sometimes, it's not really a big deal is it? I mean the free toothpicks system still works.

Yep, and really, we would find that the different scientific fields will start intertwining much more, since a biologist will be much more free to apply their knowledge to other fields and work with other scientists.
I suppose. My problem is that I don't see why anyone would do this. He himself relies on the continued flourishing of his community, he can draw freely from the stock, why jeopardize this for no gain?

I understand what you mean. Right now it may be adventageous to hoard because it is profitable to do so. Under Communism there would be no reason to hoard.

Things won't have value and workers won't be paid. Seriously. Value is a feature of exchange; there won't be exchanges. Workers won't be paid; they will distribute their products among themselves.

Also, read Marx.

This entire thread has been centered around Marx, get your hot takes out of here.