Textbook Example of the Theory of Conceptual-Commodity-Value-Management in Action

(Any Labor Theory of Value, Bourgeois or Marxist, is completely Obsolete and Outmoded in Explaining the Corporate-Capitalist Reaction to the Recent Minimum Wage Increase in Ontario, Canada)

Recently, the Ontario Liberal government raised the minimum wage for workers to 14 dollars, with a further increase set for next year to 15 dollars. The idea was that the increase in the minimum wage would alleviate the financial stress of the majority of the workforce and enable the workforce to pay-off debt and ease its financial burden of subsisting within contemporary bourgeois society. The raise was brought into effect January 1st, 2018. And right on cue, a litany of corporate-enterprises raised their commodity-prices, across the board, almost unanimously, on January 1st, 2018, arguing that all the price increases were a matter of their increasing labor-costs, although the price increases far exceeded the new labor-costs.

Ultimately, this right-wing reaction by corporate-enterprises proved once and for all that:

(a) prices have nothing to do with value, as Marxists claim, meaning, there is no objective relation between value and price, whatsoever;

(b) Prices are ultimately arbitrary, their numerical value is merely the reflection of what an entity can get away with in the marketplace; i.e., power determines price in the end; and,

(c) That with all intent and purpose, corporate-enterprises function, en masse, as a power-bloc, specifically within their particular spheres of production, and generally across the economy, both to guarantee maximum profit for themselves and to guarantee their continued governance over the workforce/population.

No longer is competition a factor on price when the corporate sector as a whole, almost unanimously, choose to raise commodity prices, simultaneously, on the same day there is a minimum wage raise. Nowhere has there been a more blatant example of the capitalist-system being fundamentally rigged and being unilaterally run by a loose, corporate-cabal of micro-fascist, oligarchical networks; i.e., a state-finance-corporate-nexus, when in an instant, at the stroke of midnight new year’s eve, 2018, commodity-prices simultaneously increased, as if by magic, across Ontario.

No Marxist labor-theory of value and surplus-value can explain such a universal corporate coordination of instantaneous price-fixing, or that autonomous market-mechanism where the catalyst for such commodity-price increases across the board. Of course, these micro-fascist, oligarchical networks, reiterated over and over, across the mass media that these commodity-price increases were necessary, sidestepping the fact that this was orchestrated, en masse, by an all too-big-fail set of corporate-enterprises, due to the fact that their corporate profits were being supposedly gauged by the minimum wage raise. Bear in mind that the minimum wage increase was designed, somewhat naively by the Government of Ontario, to allow the workforce/population to catch-up to inflation and give them a fighting chance to lift themselves out of debt-slavery. Notwithstanding, corporate-capitalism would have none of it.

In many ways, the corporate reaction was unintended as the Government of Ontario did not really anticipate a unified response from the corporate sector. As a result, to a certain extent, there was a government blunder here, but nevertheless, the universal commodity-price increase across the board here in Ontario showed that for all the capitalist rhetoric of healthy, underlying competition, both from bourgeois economists and Marxists alike, in the last instance, when the poker chips are down, what we continually see, time and time-again, is a unilateral, unified, mass of corporate piranhas acting, en masse, to short-circuit the coercive laws of competition, so as to foster ever-increasing corporate profits for themselves at the expense of the workforce/population.

In the end, in contrast to bourgeois economists and Marxists, there is no such thing as autonomous market-mechanisms and/or a labor theory of value. There is no invisible hand working its magic behind our backs.  There is only power, arms-length, conniving, corporate power-blocs, applying their delusional price-imperatives unto the workforce/population because they can without retribution. Of course, the point is to satisfy the insatiable thirst of their shareholders, for ever-increasing corporate-profits, which can only be achieved by an ever-increasing impoverishment of the workforce/population. These corporate leviathans, seeming independent and in competition, are, in fact, a unified set of ruling micro-fascist, oligarchical networks, devoid of competition, cunningly, designed only to show their true, unitary identity and capitalist logic, when the gravity of the situation absolutely requires it, namely, to safeguard obscene capitalist profits.

It turns out that the substantial jump in the minimum wage provoked the corporate-capitalist hydra, to show its true, underlying unitary nature as it banded together as one, so as to offset any chance of the workforce/population to better its financial situation. In addition, as well, the corporate-capitalist hydra did not waste this golden opportunity to simultaneously increase its own outlandish corporate profits, by increasing commodity-prices across the board, well-beyond the new labor-costs created by the minimum wage increase, ultimately, guaranteeing that the workforce/population would eventually suffer another massive shock of increasing financial inequality in the future.

This is price manipulation, pure and simple. And this is no accident, or an exceptional situation. It is prevalent across post-industrial, post-modern, bourgeois-state-capitalism. The fact is that capitalist-enterprises have jettisoned all modern labor-theories of value and surplus value, based on socially necessary labor-time, Marxists and bourgeois, either/or, now fundamentally function and operate on the basic premise that price, value and wage is a matter of conceptual-perception, is artificially constructed and is fundamentally arbitrary, being purely a matter of power. That is, the network-power of a set of corporate-enterprises, whose ability to dominate specific spheres of production and markets, determines in the end commodity-prices, namely, the level that prices can be arbitrarily raised and fetched in specific spheres of production and markets.

Ultimately, capitalist-enterprises function and operate on the basis that network-power determines price, value and wage, not labor-time, or specifically, socially necessary labor-time. Price, value and wage, is determined by the power to decide, implement, and sustain, an arbitrary price, value, and wage-determination, regardless of truth and/or any objective scientific fact. Namely, whatever a capitalist-entity can get away with in the marketplace is deemed valid and legitimate, regardless if this is actually the case. This is, in all uncertain terms, the economic verity of post-industrial, post-modern, bourgeois-state-capitalism; i.e., this is the theory of conceptual-commodity-value-management in a nutshell, whereupon every price, value, and wage-determination pivots on a capitalist-enterprises’ power and ability to shape and bend the market and a sphere of production to its will, either as an individual, corporate, power-bloc, or as, a member of a collective, corporate, power-bloc.

And this is what has transpired in Ontario, when the Government of Ontario, in its effort to alleviate the pressures of rising debt, rising inflation, and rising living costs, for the majority of the workforce/population, raised the minimum wage, across the province and ran into the all-encompassing, unitary, corporate-hydra/leviathan, that is, corporate-capitalism. That is, a unitary corporate-hydra/leviathan, which arbitrarily chooses to raise commodity-prices, across the board, whenever it deems it fit, both in order to show the government, who is actually in charge, and to show, as a last resort, that the capitalist-game is fundamentally fixed in favor of corporate-capitalism.

Therefore, in sum, the recent minimum wage increase in Ontario, Canada, as an unintended consequence, demonstrated with perfect clarity that the capitalist-game is un fait accompli, designed to further and encourage all manners of corporate-fascism; i.e., a unified, ruling set of micro-fascist, oligarchical networks, bent on outlandish corporate profit-making, by any means necessary. Even, if in the end this results in blatant arbitrary price increases across the board for the sum of the workforce/population, clearly revealing the basic fact that there is a state-finance-corporate-aristocracy at the helm, calling all shots and set to bring forth a new age of feudalism; i.e., a corporate, post-modern, capitalist-feudalism, based on stolen wealth rather than royal medieval titles.

Michel Luc Bellemare's latest book, Techno-Capitalist-Feudalism, was published in September 2020. He is also the author of The Structural-Anarchism Manifesto: (The Logic of Structural-Anarchism Versus The Logic of Capitalism). Michel Luc is a member of the Metis Algonquin Nation of Ontario, Canada. Read other articles by Michel Luc.