Essays On Dominant Ideology

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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).

However, it is not enough to ensure for labour power the material conditions of its reproduction if it is to be reproduced as labour power.

I have said that the available labour power must be ‘competent’, i.e.

Diversely: according to the requirements of the socio-technical division of labour, its different ‘jobs’ and ‘posts’.

How is this reproduction of the (diversified) skills of labour power provided for in a capitalist regime?

To put this more scientifically, I shall say that the reproduction of labour power requires not only a reproduction of its skills, but also, at the same time, a reproduction of its submission to the rules of the established order, i.e.

a reproduction of submission to the ruling ideology for the workers, and a reproduction of the ability to manipulate the ruling ideology correctly for the agents of exploitation and repression, so that they, too, will provide for the domination of the ruling class ‘in words’.

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.

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