Labour Productivity: The Link Between Use-Value, Value, and Information


  • Jaime F. Cárdenas-Garcí­a University of Maryland - Baltimore County


Labour theory of value, Information, Infoautopoiesis, Productivity of labour, Relative surplus value


The metabolic link between human labour and nature is undeniable, and may be explained as a process, intrinsic to living beings, of infoautopoiesis or information self-production; a sensory commensurable, self-referential, homeorhetic feedback process immanent to Gregory Bateson’s difference which makes a difference. This is what allows the discovery of the immanence of information and productivity of labour. The productivity of labour is determined amongst other things by the workers' average degree of skill, the level of development of science and its technological application, the social organization of the process of production, the extent and effectiveness of the means of production, and the conditions found in the natural environment. Thus, the greater the productivity of labour the greater the production of use-values as commodities, and the less the value of the commodities due to the reduced labour time socially necessary for their production. This implied relationship, between the productivity of labour, use-value, and value, may be evaluated by examining the process of generation of relative surplus value. An algebraic approach shows how the productivity of labour is incorporated into the labour theory of value. A parallel approach, using Bateson’s definition of information allows the discovery of the immanence of information and productivity of labour, and is shown to correspond to the previously obtained algebraic construction incorporating the productivity of labour into the labour theory of value. In short, relative surplus value is an inevitable consequence of the immanence of information and productivity of labour.

Author Biography

Jaime F. Cárdenas-Garcí­a, University of Maryland - Baltimore County

Jaime F. Cárdenas-Garcí­a, after retirement, is a Visiting Research Scientist at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. Texas Tech University was his academic home for many years after graduating from the University of Maryland in College Park. Research interests include the links between Information and Biosemiotics.


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How to Cite

Cárdenas-Garcí­a, J. F. (2023). Labour Productivity: The Link Between Use-Value, Value, and Information. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 19(1), 327–355. Retrieved from