Bill Mitchell on the Old Mole
The free market – everything can be understood at the exchange level – view falls in a hole when we focus on the labour market. After all, workers do not sell labour – they rather sell labour power (the capacity to work). That immediately invokes a managerial imperative. Why? Answer: because the use-value of the labour power is enjoyed (extracted) within the actual exchange (that is, while the workers are still at work). The use-value – the source of profit – is uncertain and a control function is indicated.
Bosses have to control the realisation of that use value as production in an environment where the majority of workers would rather not be there. That is a very different dynamic environment to one where we go into a shop and buy a trinket to be enjoyed later.