RE: [OPE] market socialism

From: Paul Cockshott (
Date: Thu Jul 03 2008 - 18:31:17 EDT

If we assume flexible working hours, anyone can have more leisure time, but
at the cost of giving up hours of work done.

If there is an average intensity in a given branch of production
and one person choses to work at only half this intensity should
they be credited with working at full intensity?

A few words about wages, work-days and incomes of the workers, the collective farmers and the intelligentsia. In the textbook it has not been taken into account, that people go to work not only because Marxists are in power and there is a planned economy, but also because that it is in their interest, and that we have grasped this interest. The workers are neither idealists nor ideal people. Some people think that it is possible to run the economy on the basis of equalisation. We have had such theories: collective wages, communes in production. You will not move production forward by all this. The worker fulfils and over-achieves the plan because we have piece-work for the workers, a bonus system for the supervisory staff and bonus payments for farmers who work better. Recently we have enacted the law for the Ukraine.

I will tell you of two cases. In the coal industry a few years ago a situation was created when the people working overground received more than the people working in the mines. The engineer sitting in the office received one and a half times more than those who worked in the mines. The top leadership, the administration want to attract the best engineers to their departments so that they sit by their side. But for the work to move ahead, it is necessary that people have an interest. When we increased the wages for the underground worker, only then did the work move forward. The question of wages is of central importance.
"( Stalin <<On Issues of Political Economy>> reproduced in

I think that in areas of work where individual or group effort can vary and by varyin
the output varies, then the principle of payment according to labour is compatible 
with piecework.

Paul Cockshott
Dept of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
+44 141 330 1629

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of GERALD LEVY
Sent: Thu 7/3/2008 4:33 PM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: RE: [OPE] market socialism

Hi Paul C and Ian (and others):
An alternative to paying more for someone who works more 
is to give the person who works more additional leisure time 
in compensation. A material incentive, after all, can take more
forms than simply increased wages.
As for 'working harder', I'm not sure what you mean. In all 
industries there tends to be an average productivity and
intensity of labor. If the fear is workers 'slacking off' then I think 
that fails to grasp the different nature of the system.
In solidarity, Jerry
> We advocate equal payment to labour. If one person works harder and is more productive> as a result then they get more. As Marx says, payment according to labour is still> a right in inequality since productive capacities differ.> What we argue against is the idea that particular trades or professions as a whole> should be paid at a higher rate.

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