labour power


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labour power

  1. a general term for those employed within an organization.
  2. (MARXISM) the capacity to work which is bought and employed by capitalists and from which the capitalist extracts SURPLUS VALUE (see also LABOUR THEORY OF VALUE). The distinction made by MARX between labour’ and ‘labour power’ is an important one in Marx's economics and his theory of CAPITALISM AND CAPITALIST MODE OF PRODUCTION (see ALTHUSSER and Balibar, 1968; Hodgson, 1982). Unlike labour, labour power can be traded in a market and is an object of possession. Under capitalism, the hiring of labour power, involves an agreement by the worker to submit to the employer's authority for a set period of time. The employer then has freedom to use this labour power, and the surplus product created, as he wishes. It is this labour power which is the source of surplus value.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Chapter Eleven, "Dead Labor-Literally: (Another) Crisis in the Bracero Program," Mitchell further extends the idea of "dead labor," which for Marx entails labour power "congealed" in a commodity, to consider the material consequences of the bracero program, including literal deaths of braceros.
The result was a dynamic market for labour power in which waged employment overlapped with 'a relatively redundant population of workers; that is to say a population larger than suffices for the average needs of the self-expansion of capital--in short, a surplus population' (Marx, 1939: 695).
Marx explained this commodity/non-commodity attribute of labour via a distinction between the value of labour power and the value created by labour.
When all is said and done, our labour power is the most important - and, in some cases the only - thing which workers possess.
She may also be unaware that the Labour power is supported by 40 Scottish MPs who can vote on English matters, but we have no say on Scottish matters.
Since 1974 Newcastle has been a bastion of Labour power in the North even during the 18 years of Tory Governments, it enjoyed massive majorities.
Another Midland MP thought to be a contender for chairman, who was opposed by Labour power brokers, was Mr Mark Fisher (Lab Stoke-on-Trent Central).
But the separation of some people from the means of production serves as a reminder that labour power is a factor of production along with other material factors.
This book is also valuable for what it reveals about the decline of labour power in the immediate post-war period.
In other words, people established some form of collective organisation (such as families, clans and societies) so that the collective labour power of the groups, combined with the 'natural instruments of production' (such as the earth, water, air, oceans, soil, minerals, plants and animals, all of which Marx and Engels call 'land'), would produce the food, shelter, clothing and other requirements that were necessary to perpetuate the lives of the members of society and also perpetuate the particular organisation of the society itself.
Their capacity to exercise their labour power may be more fully engaged, as they escape unemployment or underemployment in their home countries, but the terms of this engagement are circumscribed.
Indeed, given that the whole objective of the new structure was to entrench Labour power in the region, there is a strong temptation to urge you to go out and vote for any other party.