Cashless Campus, Accelerate Realization of Surplus Value
Cashless campus, which announced by Education Minister, Dr. Maszlee Malik on March 2019, to build cashless eco-system in school.
According to News Straits Times, the programme was part of effort to build financial literacy among students, and it was another achievement cooperation between Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) and the ministry.
BSN is fully subsidised by the government. Instead of non-commercial bank, it more likely became role model of other commercial banks to execute government policies those for profit-driven only.
I do not argue the role of BSN but try to understand the payment method in this capitalism society, through reading of Marx’s Capital, with very limited understanding.
Commodity, use and exchange value
As Marx argued, the money act as tool of exchange, also act of value the commodity. Firstly, we need to understand what commodity is, which it is surrounding us anywhere and anytime.
When a product is produced for usage by society, for wear, eat and drink, decoration and so on, from primary or secondary resource, the purpose of production is for public or private usage, then we can call the purpose as use value.
For logical or historical perspective, we assume barter system was existed, same as the current society, the products need to be exchanged to fulfil the demand of another parties. The difference between barter system and contemporary exchange system is the tool we use, may be the former use shell, the latter is money.
The products which able to be achieve the purpose, it means the product consist of exchange value. We can say that the product is commodity as it creates two value: use and exchange value. Reminding that any production of commodity needs the labour, like cooking and artisan.
What is the importance of labour in commodity? If there is a tree in jungle, there is no use value at all without man power to chop it down and make it to furniture. With the professional artisan, he or she able make it. All these efforts need labour power. In the other words, commodity also congeal labour value.
Colonial force technology invention
During colonial epoch, Britain, Spain and French colonize other countries for extracting raw material including tin mining, for enrich their own countries by impoverished colonized people. They might pay to these people by very few pennies, or in form of foods and dwell.
So how was these colonial masters pay to the slavery although by small amount and many slaveries? Impossible they pay by online banking at that time, paying them by cash carried by warship from Britain to India is not imagination but it was happening.
Technology innovation in capitalism society, not only to increase production volume, speed up production cycle, by invent machine in the production, it also needs shortening of commodity realisation, in other words capitalist need sell the commodity to get money for reinvesting to production for him/herself.
The capitalist also need consumer to buy the commodity, orthodoxly they need to pay to their modern slavery to buy back their commodity, and other rich person to consume their commodity as well. Therefore, invention of transportation, online banking crucially important to make sure capitalism society not shutting down.
Devalue labour value
As mentioned above, every commodity congeals labour value, the question is how much salary need to pay to the employee to achieve such equivalent. We assume each employee’s salary is paid according to working hour, let say RM10 per hour. An employee complete 5 pair of shoes within 10 hours per day. So, one day his salary supposedly RM100 per day. The price of a pair of shoes is RM20, excluding all raw material.
If the capitalist pays him RM100 per day, then how much the former earns? There is zero. He earns nothing. But some people will argue, he can earn when he success to sell the shoes above RM20, say RM26, then he earns RM6.
On top of top up the selling price above the cost, what the capitalist can do for earn more? Marx argue, surplus value, which means the capitalist pay less than the actual salary. Within the case above, the capitalist pays RM80 which suppose RM100. The deduction of RM20 is surplus value. We also found that the exchange value, RM26, cannot represent the labour value.
The less payment of the capitalist, we call it as exploitation. Marx argue, surplus value is the source of profit. The profit by top up the selling price, it’s only appearance, which not enough to explain exploitation. The capitalist might prolong working hours, strengthen labour power, add trivial which over the job scope and so on to make sure he/she pay less for getting more labour power from employee to produce more commodity.
We might not find exploitation in workplace, but compare to our income to employer, the disparity is becoming bigger. In contemporary, a country let say US, all citizens income is getting higher, so where is the profit they get from? Exploitation beyond border, they might enrich themselves by colonization.
Cashless campus, extension of realisation district
We must realise that exploitation without realise the surplus value, the capitalist cannot get nothing, RM20 just at stake, his/her effort just wasted. So, he must make sure the commodity success to sell, even to foreigners.
Online banking to cashless payment method, is to make realisation surplus value process is smoothly as plan. Some people argue cashless campus causes the usage problem of handphone among pupils’, especially stolen of phone, the contents of surfing internet like gaming, pornography, violence and so on.
Oppose to that idea is, parents easily monitor spending of money, avoid money losses due to theft, I do not deny both arguments. But we must realise purpose of cashless payment method, which preclude all obstacle of realisation of surplus value.
You can argue that campus is not factory, irrelevant to commodity production, but it is part of social reproduction. David Harvey call it as secondary exploitation. First exploitation is absorbing surplus value. Secondary exploitation is capitalists those not employment relations to employees, extract surplus value by selling expensive basic needs, such as house, education and so on.
The application of cashless campus, accelerate realisation of surplus value by non-employment-relation capitalist to working class. The extensive of capitalism production and realisation is difficult to imaging.
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