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Title: Control of the value of black goldminers labour-power in South Africa in the early industrial period as a consequence of the disjuncture between the rising value of gold and its fixed price
Author: Stemmet, Farouk
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1993
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The title of this thesis. Control of the Value of Black Goldminers' Labour- Power in South Africa in the Early Industrial Period as a Consequence of the Disjuncture between the Rising Value of Gold and its 'Fixed Price', presents, in reverse, the sequence of arguments that make up this dissertation. The revolution which took place in the value of gold, the measure of value, in the second half of the nineteenth century, coincided with the need of international trade to hold fast the value-ratio at which the world's various paper currencies represented a definite weight of gold. Movement in value did not translate into movement in price. Therefore, in order for this metal to be produced at all, even on the basis of simple reproduction, its value would have had to be lower than that value represented by its secular price. The 'fixed price' of the product also acted as a value-barrier between gold mining and industry in general. This meant that gold mining had to be responsible for its own surplus-value production, rather than, as does other industry, claim it from the general pool of surplus-value on the basis of the volume of capital invested. The size of its own variable capital, therefore, came to have an immediate bearing on its rate of surplus-value. For gold- producing capital, the value of gold-producing labour-power becomes crucial to its function as capital. For gold production to be secured, appreciation in the value of gold-producing labour-power needed to be controlled. The early South African gold-mining industry offers the clearest demonstration of this. The object before us, therefore, is the value of labour-power in gold production. This thesis offers three things: (i) a contribution towards a theory of gold; (ii) a reassessment of the great transformations that took place in the production and political economy of gold in the second half of the nineteenth century (a "re-appropriation of the material in detail"); (iii) an alternative explanation for the emergence of oppressive labour conditions on the South African gold mines.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available