Do Machines Create Value

Episode 3-10

Do Machines Create Value?

Tony, Thad, and I discuss the nature of value creation and machines & technology.  We also discuss functions of payment for post-scarcity commodities.

Do Machines Create Value?

(40 minutes, 37 MB)



About marxismpodcast

Marxism Today is podcast series designed for beginners and newbies to Marxist theory. The podcast will introduce you to certain topics and ideas central to Marxism and it will show you how Marxist theory can be applied to specific issues in order to understand them.
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3 Responses to Do Machines Create Value

  1. Andreas says:

    It may be foolish of me commenting an episode that I haven’t heard til the end. And I´m also no expert in marxism. But it seems that you have got it all wrong. What Marx says is that labour is stashed into the machine. you have to produce the machines, and repair them. You invent a machine that makes chairs that has 10000 working hours in that machine, and then hopefully you will over the years get payed more than you would get if you payed 10000 people to make chairs, (what happens is that you make more chairs and can get more money. An other example is if you buy the same machine but made from 5000 working hours, but produce as much as 10000 people would do without a machine. That is development. And eventually other people will do the same, and you can’t charge people for 10000 working hours anymore.

    • Machines can’t create surplus value. Only human labor power can create more value than it costs to produce. You are quite correct in that the past labor that was used to create the machine is preserved in that machine, but that doesn’t give the machine the ability to create value beyond that, it’s only the humans operating the machines that do. Which is why with more machinery more is produces, and the sales of the product may increase, but actually over time this caused the profit to fall. For more see episode 3-16 that we just posted about the falling rate of profit.

  2. Andreas says:

    You are right. I will listen to the podcast you recommend. Its difficult stuff. Some left wingers in sweden believe Marx got it all wrong in the mathematics in the analysis of the falling rate of profit. But I argued from marxs point of view and got it all wrong.

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