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Value And Price Of Labour-Power

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with the formulations in Wages, Price and Profit, which are substantially repeated in both the Grundrisse and Capital. ‘The value of the labouring power is formed by two elements – the one merely physical, the other historical and social.’ Two conditions are actually required for the reproduction of labour-power in its normal quality: a minimum of subsistence and a maximum of labour, with a certain trade-off existing between the two. The concept of price ‘modifies’ the concept of value, giving it an original modification. Value is established in a struggle defined by the question of price, which expresses the concept of value as a concept of class struggle. Marx puts forward a capitalist ‘law of population’, characterised by the alternation between technical innovations generating unemployment and extensive developments requiring new labour.

Keywords: capitalist ‘law of population’; labour-power; Marx

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