In the context of capitalism, various perceptions have been brought out by Marx in his research on how the human labor has been created into a commodity, exploited and made use in creating a surplus. There are various forms in which labor can be perceived in the industry. the analysis of this paper reveals clearly that there is a distinction between labor power and the laborer. The purchaser of the labor power, in trying to get the best of it, will try to give much attention to caring for the laborer in terms of health and welfare. The compensation of labor power is salary and this varies with the expertise needed for the same. Additionally, it is a fact that in the exploitation of labor, there are two pertinent issues that labor power does. It is the variable that is used to add more value to the raw materials in order for the company to get the surplus when the finished product is sold. Additionally, it is from the labor power where the capital invested is maintained in the company and hence it forms an integral part of maximization of wealth to the shareholders of the company. This paper is masterpiece of giving a profound elaboration on the real advents of labor power as a commodity and how it is essential in the economic growth of a company.
Introduction / thesis
Marx in his study has revealed various issues concerning labor as a commodity and the extent and the significance of its exploitation in the economy. This paper gives an analysis of the creation of free labor into a commodity. Here we utilize the distinction between the labor power injected into the production and the capital. Additionally, we give a closer scrutiny into how human labor has been exploited to generate the wealth where we bring on board the advent of the separation of the capital and the labor power as constant and variable respectively. Furthermore, we investigate the extent of exploitation of the laborer in generating the surplus and how best most companies try to maintain it while scrutinizing their perception on the maintenance of the same. The aim of this paper is to understand the role of human labor in the production of goods and services as connoted by capitalist line of thought
The JEL classification codes used,
JEL: J – Labor and Demographic Economics
J2 – Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination
J3 – Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
J5 – Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
J6 – Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies
Creation of free labor as a commodity
Labor power is seen to be one of the vital factors of production that is deemed quite substantial for the productivity of any company. In the contemporary economics, labor is perceived to be a commodity just like any other good in the market. In its immediate context, labor power is the intrinsic manpower dispensed by the laborer in exchange for money. In this regard, the expertise, the energy, and the willingness to carry out various duties to a man are very critical in defining the labor (Marx, 122). Additionally, there exists a distinction between a man and the labor power. The distinction is made on the relationship between labor power and the ultimate purchaser of the work. As a buyer of labor power gets to the marketplace, they are expected to have in mind the kind of skills and techniques that are needed for the company in question. The transcending effect of this notion is that the buyer will not be interested in the physical health and the looks of the laborer but the qualities regarding the expertise and the skill that the laborer owns and how these skills fits into the job descriptions of the employer (Marx, 119). The sole responsibility of the company is to ensure that it gives much attention to the use of the laborer power in meeting the various pertinent objectives of the firm.
Additionally, as the laborer dispenses his or her expertise, there are different aspects of the labor power that qualifies it to be called a commodity. In a free labor market, the seller is perceived as the owner of the money. The laborer is seen as the vendor of the labor power, and the owner of the money is the buyer of the labor power. In this prospect, it is quite imperative to note that in the marketplace, the laborer is expected to be on his or herself with no other thing to sell but his expertise. In the definition of the commodity, there is a value for which the buyer has to pay money (Marx, 119). The commodity also has to be maintained to ensure that it serves the customer in the most appropriate way. In the definition of the labor-power as a commodity, the value for money which the buyer pays money for is the expertise and the time which the laborer inputs into the area of the job description for they are permitted to do. On the account of the maintenance stances, the food, the healthcare provision and the pension benefits that the buyer of the labor power gives the laborer forms the maintenance fees or the extra costs that the employer has to incur to ensure high efficiency of his or her commodity (Marx, 123).
The worth of labor-power is established, as in the connotation of every other article of trade, by the labor, time is essential for the production. As far as it has value, it symbolizes no more than a particular quantity of the natural labor of society integrated into it. Labor-power subsists only as a capability, or power of the living personality. Its creation consequently presupposes his survival. Given the personality, the nature of labor-power subsists in his productivity of himself or his preservation. For his maintenance, he needs a given quantity of the way of subsistence. Consequently, the labor-time obligatory for the manufacture of labor-power decreases itself to that essential for the production of those ways of livelihood; conversely, the worth of labor-power is the significance of the means of survival necessary for the protection of the laborer. Labor-power, on the other hand, becomes authentic only by its implementation; it makes itself useful only by dispensing his expertise through working (Marx, 120).
However, there are definite magnitudes of a person’s muscle, brain, and the nerve is exhausted, and these need to be refurbished. This increased expense demands, larger returns than before. If the proprietor of labor-power works now, tomorrow he should again be capable of repeating the same progression in the same circumstances as regards strength and health. His resources of subsistence must consequently be sufficient to uphold him in his regular status as a laboring human being. His essential requirements, such as clothing, fuel, food, and housing, vary consistently with the climatic and other substantial conditions of his nation (Marx, 119). Alternatively, the number and degree of his so-called essential want, as also the methods of fulfilling them, are the product of chronological development. And depend, to a large extent, on the level of civilization of a nation, more particularly on the state of affairs under which, and accordingly on the behavior and degree of ease in which, the category of free workers has been constituted. The creation of the free labor as a commodity depends therefore on the ability and the willingness of a laborer to being used as a factor of production. Additionally, the worker needs to be given the utmost care regarding healthcare and food to keep them replenished for the everyday job (Marx, 124).
Human labor and its exploitation
In the production of the various goods and services, there are various components of costs that go into the generation to realize the high production stance of the finished good. The various components are integrated in such a way that they are deemed to produce the finished product in the most appropriate way possible. One of the elements of production is the initial capital injected in the manufacturing process. The money injected can be in the form of equipment, the machines, and the raw materials among others. In this study, these components are deemed to be constant since they take into keen consideration the notion of regular supply with no variation in the production of the same (Marx, 151). As it stands, the product unit sees this component as one that once it has been put into place, it would only be proper to make it as constant as possible.
The next critical element is the labor power that is used in the transformation of the raw materials into the finished products. This component is provided by the human beings who offer themselves as a commodity to the various buyers to the free labor market. Additionally, this component varies with the level of education that connotes the expertise and the social and the health status of the employee in question. The employer must, therefore, understand how to make the employee entirely comfortable in such a way that they are deemed highly productive to realize high efficiency in production. As the raw materials are being produced to get the finished products from the raw materials, there is a value that is being added to the raw material to be sold in the market (Marx, 153).
The Marx economics connotes that because the capital is quite constant, the value that is being exploited here is that one the labor power. The cost injected in producing a particular good is the cost of capital plus the cost of labor. These two instances of resources are placed in such a way that they are deemed to add value to the whole finished product. In the event of producing the finished product, the value added into the end product is added back to the current injected capital to arrive at the new set of capital for the company. The profits gotten from the sale of the profit are added back to the capital used, we will then find the new money. The new money that has been generated from this venture would be equal to the initially injected capital plus the surplus that has been seen on selling the finished product (Marx, 152).
There are two aspects according to Marx where the labor power is exploited. One scenario is where the energy is being used to improve, add value on the raw material through the profound transformation into the finished product. In this prospect, the labor is used in making sure that the wealth is created in the company. The concept behind this notion is that the capital injected in the form of raw material is deemed to be quite constant. The impact of transformation is only initiated by the labor. In this sense, the cost of producing the product is the capital C and the energy power (V) (Marx, 151). Since the capital (C) is constant in all prospect, it only means that the value of the transformed finished product is equivalent to the initial capital (C) added to the labor power V plus the value added to the finished product (S). Note that the end product has an added value which is S, which acts as the profit for the company for which other expenses are deducted. The transcending effect is that the cost of the new capital would be the old capital plus the surplus brought by the sale of the finished product. The change has purely been initiated by the labor power (Marx, 153).
Another area where the human labor has exploited the event of the deterioration of the machines and equipment wherein; they tend to lose value. The depreciation expenses brought forward in the calculation of the measure of degradation of the capital tools are charged against the surplus emanating from the exploitation of labor. In this sense, the work has been used not only to add value to the capital through wealth creation but also by catering for the expenses cropping through deterioration of the various funds injected in the firm. The human capital, therefore, is quite critical in the creation of value and wealth by the purchaser of the same. The exploitation is to the degree that it not only single-handedly generates the profits but it cautions the initially injected capital from deterioration (Marx, 154).
The human labor, operation and the surplus value
Human labor as connoted by Marx is one that is quite inseparable from the laborer. The intensity and the excellence brought out in this stance are dependent upon the connotation of a high level of motivation and the behavioral conduct that is brought out by the employer. The environment of working is also a determinant factor in explicating high level of performance in the company (Marx, 156). As connoted earlier, the surplus derived from the finished product sold in the market is as a result of the company having a high exploitation of the labor power postulated by the laborer. The capital employed here is always constant. The variation in the labor power has what carpeted the value presumed by the finished product sold. A closer look at the derivation of whole equation of surplus, the employer who pays the labor has noted that the efforts made by the laborer are quite critical.
To accomplish their primary aim of maximizing the wealth of the shareholder, the employer tends to exploit the labor power optimally to gain the high amount of surplus. With this in mind, the exploitation escalates into longer working hours for the employees and the strict rules of production. This act of exploitation brings on board the deterioration of the well-being of these employees (Marx, 158). Most government had regulatory institutions like labor organizations that have tried to bring a compromise to the overexploitation of the laborers which has seen the projected surplus of the companies not being met. It should be noted that there is a high possibility of conflict of interest in the dissemination of the labor power with the employers giving much attention to productivity while the laborers give much attention to their wellbeing.
It is, nonetheless, clear that in any specified economic configuration of civilization, where not the switch over value but the utility value of the manufactured goods predominates, excess labor will be restricted by a given set of requirements which may be superior or less, and that at this time no illimitable thirst for surplus manual labor arises from the environment of the manufacture itself. Hence in relic, over-work becomes horrifying only when the objective is to obtain trade-value in its particular self-determining money-form; in the production of silver and gold. Compulsory functioning to death is at this time the recognized structure of over-work. Still these are exclusions in antiquity (Marx, 156). However, as soon as citizen, whose fabrication still moves inside the lower constructs of captive labor, are drawn into the vortex of an international marketplace subjugated by the capitalistic approach of manufacture, the vending of their products for sales abroad becoming their most significant interest.
The enlightened horrors of over-burdened work status are embedded on the barbaric revulsions of slavery. Consequently, the Negro workforce in the American Union southern states conserved some patriarchal disposition, so much time as fabrication was chiefly intended for to immediate local utilization. But infraction, as the sales of cotton abroad turned out to be of vital significance to these nations, the over-exploiting of the Negro and at times the utilizing of his existence in 7 years of manual labor became an aspect in a premeditated and calculating classification. It was now not a question of getting from him a specified quantity of functional products (Marx, 154).
The Marx economics connotes that because the capital is quite constant, the value that is being exploited here is that one, the labor power. The cost injected in producing a particular good is the cost of capital plus the cost of labor. These two instances of resources are placed in such a way that they are deemed to add value to the whole finished product. In the event of producing the end product, the value added into the end product is added back to the current injected capital to arrive at the new set of capital for the company. The profits got from the sale of the profit are added back to the capital used, we will then find the new money. The new capital that has been generated from this venture would be equal to the initially injected capital plus the surplus that has been seen on selling the finished product.
There are two aspects according to Marx where the labor power is exploited. One scenario is where the energy is being used to improve add value on the raw material through the profound transformation into the finished product. In this prospect, the energy is used in making sure that the wealth is created in the company. The concept behind this notion is that the capital injected in the form of raw material is deemed to be quite constant. The impact of transformation is only initiated by the labor (Marx, 119). In this sense, the cost of producing the product is the capital C and the labor power (V). Since the capital C is constant in all prospects, it only means that the value of the transformed finished product is equivalent to the initial capital C added to the labor power V plus the value added to the finished product (S). Note that the end product has an added value which is S which acts as the profit for the company for which other expenses are deducted. The transcending effect is that the cost of the new capital would be the old capital plus the surplus brought by the sale of the finished product. The change has purely been initiated by the labor power (Marx, 144).
In conclusion, it has come out clearly that the human labor is quite significant in the sustenance of the creation of wealth and creation of value to the raw materials through a transformation into finished product. Labor power is the variable that creates the value to suffice the surplus and then cater for the expenses due to deterioration of the capital injected. Over exploitation of labor leads to degradation of the welfare of the laborer since the worker and his labor power which he sells are inseparable. The distinction is made on the relationship between labor power and the ultimate purchaser of the energy. As a buyer of energy power gets to the marketplace, they are expected to have in mind the kind of skills and techniques that are needed for the company in question. The transcending effect of this notion is that the buyer will not be interested in the physical health and the looks of the laborer but the qualities regarding the expertise and the skill that the worker owns and how these skills fit into the job descriptions of the employer. The sole responsibility of the company is to ensure that it gives much attention to the use of the laborer power in meeting the various pertinent objectives of the firm.
Marx, Karl, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. I. The Process of Capitalist Production. Frederick Engels, Ernest Untermann, eds. Samuel Moore, Edward Aveling, trans. 1906. Library of Economics and Liberty. 14 May 2016. <http://www.econlib.org/library/YPDBooks/Marx/mrxCpA.ht