Re: I repent for asking
John A Imani
<<, "Do machines add value?," >>
Machines add value to the product being fashioned by losing value themselves.
Assuming that the machine in question is the average of its ilk and the skill of the labor operating it is the average of its kind; that is, assuming all things are 'normal' (cp); then the gain of the one is the exactly the loss of the other.
What this means is that when the machine has had it use-value completely destroyed that it will have given over its entire value to the value of the products produced. It can give over to these product its value and its value alone. The machine creates no surplus above its own cost. More specifically, if the machine cost $10,000 then cp it transfers $10,000 to the cost-price of the commodities produced.
Looked at another way, from the point of 'common sense', if the machine could transfer more than the $10,000 then it would have sold for more.
Labor is the only factor of production that adds more value (as labor-power) than it itself costs. i.e. the wage. The worker comes to market presenting his commodity, his labor-power (the ability to perform work) and is paid for at its cost of (re)production, in this case, its value. Yet, this 'fair exchange' is nonetheless a robbery.
The capitalist purchases labor-power but what he gets is labor. Value-adding labor. Labor that adds more value than it itself (as labor-power) is worth. This value-added above its own cost is surplus-value; and surplus-value is the product of surplus-labor, i.e. laboring past the time in which the worker adds value equal to his own wage (necessary labor) to the product being produced.
Humans are the only perpetual motion machines which by laboring more is made of the output than of the input (labor-power). That is the secret of humans differentiating itself from other animals. As example, the increase in the standard of living (one way to measure that is life expectancy). And yet such power has been stilted and in too many ways and forms still-born. And so born in such a way because of the fundamental principles of class society: that there must be the privileged few atop a misered majority. That the formers must gain in direct proportion that the latters lose. That wealth is to be hoarded, and only incidentally, increased.