ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Marx and Service Sector

Marx and Service Sector S J PATEL's comments about Marx (November 30, 1991) were incorrect as is evident from the following quotes from Marx's works. These will show how aware Marx was of the nature, role and place of the service sector in modern development and how relevant and correct was his interpretation judging from the process the service sector has evolved in developed capitalist economies of today. True, Marx did not explicitly discuss the role the service sector is playing today in the last stage of capitalist development, i e, at the present stage of internationalisation of production preceded by stages of internationalisation of goods and capital, and investment, credit and loan. However, it is implied in his analysis given here. Marx wrote: "Given an advance of industrial productivity to the point where only one- third of the population takes a direct part in material production, instead of two- thirds as before then one-third furnish the means of life for the whole, where as before, two-thirds were required to do so... Disregarding the class constriction, the whole nation would now need only one-third of its time for direct production, whereas earlier it had needed two-thirds. With equal distribution, every one would now have two-thirds of his time for unproductive labour and for leisure. But in capitalist production everything appears, and is, contradictory. As productivity rises, the number of unproductive labourers required to service and maintain the growing capital establishment also rises, for example, members of traditional unproductive workers like clerks, bookkeepers also increase. This process in due course calls into being entirely new branches of unproductive work such as the banking system, the credit system, insurance empires and advertising, but that growth of scientific and technological establishments, as well as an increase in public education generally are also included in this category," (K Kautsky (ed), Marx-Theorin Ueberden Mehr Wert, Vol I, Part I, pp 188-89 translated in Martin Nicolaus Proletariat and Middle Class in Marx in D Mcquaire (ed), Marx, Social Change and Capitalism, Operator Books, London, 1978, p 242.) Marx wrote elsewhere: "As large-scale industry advances, the creation of real wealth depends less on the labour-time and the quantity of labour expended than on the power of the instrumentalities set in motion during the labour-time. These instrumentalities, and their powerful effectiveness, are in no proportion of the immediate labour-time which their production requires; their effectiveness rather depends on the attained level of science and technological progress; in other words, on the application of this science to production... Human labour then no longer appears as enclosed in the process of production

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