Labour power

labor powerlabor-powerlabour-powerabstract labourhuman labourlabor force
Labour power (in German: Arbeitskraft; in French: force de travail) is a key concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of capitalist political economy.wikipedia
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Karl Marx

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Labour power (in German: Arbeitskraft; in French: force de travail) is a key concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of capitalist political economy. Karl Marx introduces the concept in chapter 6 of the first volume of Capital, as follows:
In capitalism, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling classes (known as the bourgeoisie) that control the means of production and the working classes (known as the proletariat) that enable these means by selling their labour power in return for wages.

Capitalism

capitalistcapitalistscapitalistic
Labour power (in German: Arbeitskraft; in French: force de travail) is a key concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of capitalist political economy.
That required a set of conditions, including specific technologies of mass production, the ability to independently and privately own and trade in means of production, a class of workers willing to sell their labour power for a living, a legal framework promoting commerce, a physical infrastructure allowing the circulation of goods on a large scale and security for private accumulation.

Surplus value

surplus-valueexploitationsurplus
The distinction between labour and labour-power, according to Marx, helped to solved a problem that David Ricardo had failed to solve, i.e. explaining why the surplus value resulting from profit normally arises out of the process of production itself—rather than in the investment of capital (e.g. the advance of money-capital in the form of wages) in labour-power (acquired from labourers).
Marx's solution was to distinguish between labor-time worked and labor power.

Das Kapital

CapitalCapital: Critique of Political EconomyKapital
Karl Marx introduces the concept in chapter 6 of the first volume of Capital, as follows:
Moreover, workers appear in Volume II essentially as buyers of consumer goods and therefore as sellers of the commodity labour power, rather than producers of value and surplus-value, although this latter quality established in Volume I remains the solid foundation on which the whole of the unfolding analysis is based.

Means of production

productive propertydifferent organizations of productionforces
Labour power exists in any kind of society, but on what terms it is traded or combined with means of production to produce goods and services has historically varied greatly.
In contrast, the proletariat, or working class, comprises the majority of the population that lacks access to the means of production and are therefore induced to sell their labor power for a wage or salary to gain access to necessities, goods and services.

Wage Labour and Capital

Wage-labor and CapitalWage-Labour and Capital
A much shorter, to-the-point explanation of labour-power can be found in the introduction and second chapter of Marx's Wage Labour and Capital (1847).
Some of the main topics that the essay examines are about labour power and labour and how labour power becomes a commodity.

Exploitation of labour

exploitationexploitation of workersexploit
It was the most efficient form of exploitation of labour power.
Exploiters appropriate another's surplus labour, which is the amount of labour exceeding what is necessary for the reproduction of a worker's labour power and basic living conditions.

Human capital

human capital theorycapitalhuman
While Marx's concept of labour power has been compared to that of human capital, Marx himself may have considered a concept such as "human capital" to be a reification, the purpose of which was to imply that workers were a kind of capitalist.
In some way, the idea of "human capital" is similar to Karl Marx's concept of labor power: he thought in capitalism workers sold their labor power in order to receive income (wages and salaries).

Constant capital

variable capital
From that point on, Marx argues, labour power at work is transformed into capital, specifically variable capital which accomplishes the valorisation process.
On the other hand, constant capital refers to the non-human inputs into production, while variable capital refers to the human input (the hiring of labor power to do labor).

Marxian economics

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In this sense, the usage of labour (per se) in Marxian economics is somewhat similar to the later concept, in neoclassical economics, of "labour services."

Wage

wageswage ratelabor costs
Therefore, labour costs have never been simply an "economic" or "commercial" matter, but also a moral, cultural and political issue.
Wage labour involves the exchange of money for time spent at work (the latter quantity is termed labor power by Marx and subsequent economists).

Commodity

commoditiescommodity pricescommodity good
Under capitalism, according to Marx, labour-power becomes a commodity – it is sold and bought on the market.
In classical political economy and especially in Karl Marx's critique of political economy, a commodity is an object or a good or service ("product" or "activity" ) produced by human labour.

Use value

use-valueuse-valuesuse
:"By labour-power or capacity for labour is to be understood the aggregate of those mental and physical capabilities existing in a human being, which he exercises whenever he produces a use-value of any description."
In that case, it could be argued not just labour power but the whole person is a use-value (see further Richard Sennett's books such as The Culture of the New Capitalism, Yale (2006).

Surplus labour

surplus laborsurplus-labourlabor surplus
This involves goods and services representing a quantity of labour equal to necessary labour or the necessary product.
For the most part, Marx assumed equal exchange in Das Kapital, i.e. that supply and demand would balance; his argument was that even if, ideally speaking, no unequal exchange occurred in trade, and market equality existed, exploitation could nevertheless occur within capitalist relations of production, since the value of the product produced by labour power exceeded the value of labour power itself.

Abstract labour and concrete labour

abstract labourAbstract labor and concrete laborAbstract" labor
For some, abstract labour is an economic category which applies only to the capitalist mode of production, i.e. it applies only, when human labour power or work-capacity is universally treated as a commodity with a certain monetary cost or earnings potential.

Capital accumulation

accumulation of capitalaccumulationLaw of accumulation
Often the demand for "labour market flexibility" is combined with the demand for strong immigration controls, to block any movement of labour which would be only a burden for capital accumulation.

Compensation of employees

compensationcompensation modelstotal labor compensation

Labour economics

laborlabor economicslabor market
Marx adapted a distinction, in Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Right between labour power (Arbeitskraft) and labour (Arbeit) and gave this distinction a new significance.

Unemployment benefits

unemployment insuranceunemployment compensationunemployment benefit
These laws and rules affect e.g. the minimum wage, wage bargaining, the operation of trade unions, the obligations of employers in respect of employees, hiring and firing procedures, labour taxes, and unemployment benefits.

German language

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Labour power (in German: Arbeitskraft; in French: force de travail) is a key concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of capitalist political economy.

French language

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Labour power (in German: Arbeitskraft; in French: force de travail) is a key concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of capitalist political economy.

Political economy

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Labour power (in German: Arbeitskraft; in French: force de travail) is a key concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of capitalist political economy.

Management

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Work becomes just work, workers become an abstract labour force, and the control over work becomes mainly a management prerogative.

Value, Price and Profit

Another short exposition is provided in Marx's text Value, Price and Profit (1865).