Re: Do machines add value?

Michael Meeropol

It is definitely true that capitalism was a necessary and sufficient condition for the industrial revolution -- that capitalism, as Marx said, "revolutionizes" the process of production.

BUT --- let us not forget that capitalism initially had virtually nothing to do with machines and even technological progress --- instead it had to do with (in agriculture) separating the various rural populations from their means of production (enclosures for the most parta) and in "industry" CONCENTRATING workers at the point of production --- the end of the "putting out" system ---

Both of those things CHANGED the nature of labor --- workers were now under the control of capitalists and before there was any technological progress there was an increase in the rate of exploitation (unsure if there even was much of a "rate of exploitation" in the putting out system) ---

So I think capitalism was about creating a landless, property-less working class that capitalists could exploit.

ONCE the workers were concentrated in factories, YES, then all the inventions that we associate with the industrial revolution could be brought to bear but the key to surplus value remains the asymmetry between capitalists and workers --- NOT the asymmetry between old and new technology --- the latter is an EFFECT of capitalism ...

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