fundamentals of communist production and distribution: critique of red wages
[I]t is important to realize that production based on the value of labor force, i.e., wage labor, can never lead to anything other than the disenfranchisement of workers. The reason for this lies not in the badness of the state administrators, but in the laws of movement of the system.
The crucial point is that there is a contradiction between the value of the labor force and the work that the worker delivers daily to his boss. We are never paid for our work, but in exchange for our work, we get as much as is necessary to maintain the necessary livelihood.
With our wages, we take every week several goods from the market in which, for example, no more than 24 hours of social work is involved. In reality, we have worked 40, 50, 60, or more hours this week. The work that we give to society in this way more than we get from our wages is called extra work, which then represents a surplus value for the owners of the means of production or the state. The lower the wages and the longer the working day, the greater the surplus value that goes into the state or the capitalists.
Mistakenly, there is a widespread opinion that the creation of surplus-value is a good in itself, but that this surplus value should not belong to the owning class, but should be returned to the workers by the communist state through social legislation.
This view is wrong because it does not consider the social importance of wage labor.
We have already pointed out that there is a contrast between the value of the labor force and day-to-day work. The peculiarity is that the amount of work we give to society has nothing to do with the number of goods we take from the market through our wages. In other words, there is no direct connection between the wealth of goods we produce and our social wages. The worker does not demonstrate his share of the product through his work.
Not our work, but the value of our labor force determines which part of the wealth of goods we will receive.
From the point of view of the wage earner, his share of the national product is thus practically a blow to the air. His wage will fluctuate around the value of the labor force, but he will have to fight for it, regardless of whether it is a capitalist or a “communist” state.
The peculiarity that the amount of work we give to society has nothing to do with wages is much more important than the question of distribution alone. This means that the wage-worker has nothing to do with the social product. It is an expression of the fact that the producer is separated from the social product. It means that the producer has nothing to do with the management and administration of the social production process.
This is the essential meaning of a production in which the labor force is paid based on value!
It also means that social antagonisms within the working class, social antagonism between the workers and the “red directors” of the factories. It means the struggle of the workers against “their” state.
The value of the labor force is the bearer of all these conflicts.
This is because our work does not determine our relationship to the social product!
The workers, who believe that a communist revolution is only about passing of surplus-value of the owners to the state, are therefore deeply mistaken.
Basically, the workers want to rearrange their relationship to the social product in a communist production. And they think they have built a new relationship when they exclude the capitalists from the surplus value in order to let it flow from the state. What is actually happening is a new distribution of surplus-value in society. But what does it mean for wage earners? There is no new relationship between producer and social product. In capitalism, this relationship was determined by the value of the labor force and in so-called “communism” also. For the wage workers, therefore, the goal of the proletarian revolution can only be to establish a new relationship between the producer and the social product.
For the proletarian, the goal of social revolution can be no other than to determine through his work at the same time his relationship to the social product. This means:
Abolition of wage labor!
Work is the measure of consumption!
It is the only condition for putting the management and administration of social production in the hands of the workers themselves.