The reproduction of labour power thus reveals as its not only the reproduction of its ‘skills’ but also the reproduction of its subjection to the ruling ideology or of the ‘practice’ of that ideology, with the proviso that it is not enough to say ‘not only but also’, for it is clear that Here I shall make two comments.
The first is to round off my analysis of reproduction.
suitable to be set to work in the complex system of the process of production.
The development of the productive forces and the type of unity historically constitutive of the productive forces at a given moment produce the result that the labour power has to be (diversely) skilled and therefore reproduced as such.
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However, that is in fact how it ‘works’, since wages represents only that part of the value produced by the expenditure of labour power which is indispensable for its reproduction: so indispensable to the reconstitution of the labour power of the wage-earner (the wherewithal to pay for housing, food and clothing, in short to enable the wage earner to present himself again at the factory gate the next day – and every further day God grants him); and we should add: indispensable for raising and educating the children in whom the proletarian reproduces himself (in n models where n = 0, 1, 2, etc....) as labour power.
Remember that this quantity of value (wages) necessary for the reproduction of labour power is determined not by the needs of a ‘biological’ Guaranteed Minimum Wage () alone, but by the needs of a historical minimum (Marx noted that English workers need beer while French proletarians need wine) – i.e. I should also like to point out that this minimum is doubly historical in that it is not defined by the historical needs of the working class ‘recognized’ by the capitalist class, but by the historical needs imposed by the proletarian class struggle (a double class struggle: against the lengthening of the working day and against the reduction of wages).
But thanks to the genius of Quesnay who first posed this ‘glaring’ problem, and to the genius of Marx who resolved it, we know that the reproduction of the material conditions of production cannot be thought at the level of the firm, because it does not exist at that level in its real conditions.
What happens at the level of the firm is an effect, which only gives an idea of the necessity of reproduction, but absolutely fails to allow its conditions and mechanisms to be thought.