Theory of Surplus Value as a Formula

Theory of Surplus Value as a Formula

This theory can be simplified into the formula A — B = C. If A repre­sents the total of commodities produced in the working day and B the to­tal of commodities necessary to subsistence, then C represents the total commodities whose value is surplus value. If A represents the total value produced during the standard working day and B the value of a day's subsistence for the worker, then C represents surplus value. If A represents the length of the working day in hours and B the number of socially neces­sary hours required to produce a day's subsistence, then C represents the hours during which the worker is producing surplus value. If A represents the total value produced by a day's labor effort and B the value paid back as a wage to the worker, then C represents the value also produced by labor but appropriated by the capitalist employer. If A represents the stand­ard labor day and B the portion of this required to produce the worker's subsistence, then C represents the uncompensated portion of the workday. Or, depending on the angle from which the phenomena are viewed, C may represent the exploited portion of the worker's labor power, or the hours during which the worker labors for the capitalist rather than for himself. From still another point of view, if A represents all the values of commodi­ties put into exchange, then B represents the portion of these commodities that continues to circulate among workers because this much must be paid them as wages, and C represents the commodities that are drawn out of the exchange process by the capitalist employer who uses them partially for his own consumption and partially as further advances (a fund circulat­ing capital) wherewith he again hire workers to produce more surplus value.