Is Marxist labour theory of value even coherent?

In its bare formulation without any qualifiers, LTV says that a unit of labour power is responsible for all of a good or service's economic value. This we can see as patently false, as there are few people (even Marxists) who would argue that a digging a useless hole for 5 hours and then filling it back up with dirt has more value than randomly discovering a nugget of gold while walking down the street.

Marx attempts to remedy this flaw with the theory with the qualifier "socially necessary labour time" but there are also serious problems with this "socially necessary" prefix


A) socially necessary labour is not well-defined

B) socially-necessary labour time is defined as "average unit labour-cost" meaning the average amount of time an average worker requires to produce a commodity with use value. However, where does use value come from? Either use value is defined in terms of human want or need, in which case LTV is just a shitty, opaque and imprecise reformulation of Supply and Demand or, if [use] value is defined in terms of labour again, Marx is essentially begging the question making LTV equivalent to saying "that which has use value has value"

C) "socially-necessary labour" imbuing things with value does not reflect real-world individual utility functions. Some people have different levels of standards for a commodity. Take consumer PCs, for example. You may be happy with a simple laptop that can browse imageboards, while I prefer a PC with xeon processors and dedicated GPUs for scientific calculations. LTV does not capture this difference in utility functions between us. Our use values for a computer are different, but LTV says that the value of both of them ought to be the average. For another example, the colour of a car. I strongly prefer owning a red car to a black car for whatever vanity and aesthetic taste reasons. Yet the labour time in painting each car is the same. But the economic value for me according to my tastes is not the same.

Even using the "socially necessary" quantifier, I struggle to see how labour theory of value is anything but a vacuous statement at best. Commies, please explain.

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Other urls found in this thread: and Poverty_3.pdf

And right out of the gate you already reach a common misunderstanding of The law of value.

Under capitalism workers are required to produce a commodity that fulfills some type of usefulness (use value) for a wage to a capitalist so that the capitalist can then exchange the commodity at market for its total value. (The worker receiving only a fraction of sed value in the form of sed wages.)

The true value of the commodity is found in its utility and realized under capitalism by the socially necessary labor time it takes to create it.

For example: If you are paid to create bikes for a bike sales man you cannot turn around and purchase sed bike from the bike salesman for the wages you received in its production.

Why is that? It is because the amount of abstract labor time put into the creation of the bike is worth twice as much (in monied form) as the wages you received for its creation.

The bike owner (through some sort of wizardry) gets paid for nothing but the ownership of the means by which the bike is made, splits the cost of production with you, and gets the rest through no labor of his own.

This is why capitalism is economic exploitation.

It relies on a slave class of underlings supporting the lively hood of a more powerful class.

Really you could of just read the first chapter of capital.

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Value comes from utility itself. You cannot value something that has no utility.

How much we value things simply depends on how much labor time went into it.

I don't see how wants and needs are a reformulation of supply and demand. How does supply and demand explain the price of commodities when supply and demand are in equilibrium?

Use value is a necessary condition for having exchangeable value but not all products with use value have value. For example products made for personal consumption in domestic labour at home, these do not have value unless they are sold as a service in markets. This is analogous to GDP accounting not counting family domestic labour performed for free but does count hired cooks or cleaners producing the same service.

I'm pretty sure utility functions have been continuously debunked in the past 40 years of behavioral economics research.

You cannot compare utility functions of different people. Further more LTV purpose is not to describe consumers' willingness to buy a commodity. It is a theory of production.

You can take the output quantity of a product (a certain grade of steel) in a year divide it by the hours of labour expended in the production of that steel and get the unit value of that steel. This is a precise numeric metric that can be used to describe steel and the opposite of vacuous. Whether or not you believe this to be a useful metric is another question.

C) "socially-necessary labour" imbuing things with value does not reflect real-world individual utility functions.

Again, you value things because they are useful. Things may fulfill different uses from person to person but the bottom line is you value them cause they are useful.

It does not matter what the utility is; There is no difference in value between a hammer and a Screwdriver value simply is and it is relational to either Quality or Quantity.

An aluminum hammer can have a higher quality than a stone hammer but both fulfill the function of hammering.

It's quite rare that someone will dig a hole for absolutely no reason but to fill it back up again, and it's also quite rare that someone will find a nugget of gold in the street. It's more likely, conversely, that holes will be dug for specific reasons, and gold will be found by mining it.
The labor theory of value demonstrates that the prices for things like gold are set by the average amount of labor that it takes to obtain gold, not the average amount of labor that it takes to get incredibly lucky by finding a gold nugget on the side of the road.
I guess it's pretty easy to debunk economic theories when you come up with stupid edge cases that have zero bearing on the actual economy, but I guess that's just what you get when your entire understanding of economics comes from the kinds of braindead "Billy has two apples" kinds of examples that you get in basic economics textbooks.

You can take the output quantity of a product (a certain grade of steel) in a year divide it by the hours of labour expended in the production of that steel and get the unit value of that steel.

You seem to be conflating value and price.
The labour content of a given commodity forms the pole around which its price oscillates, based on conditions such as supply and demand.

People themselves don't have use-values; commodities do - a commodity must obviously have a use-value in order to have an exchange-value (i.e., it must fulfill a social need in order to be exchangeable or salable). Our own subjective tastes and needs do little to alter the objective labour content of or social demand for a given commodity.

With regards to the dirt-holes-and-gold-nugget comment:

I got a question though.
I don't know man. Would anything have value if we just could snap our fingers to get what we want? It's as logical of a question as you have proposed.

That's basically how Mandel puts it in his Introduction to Marxist Economics, which I'd actually direct OP towards. It's pretty short; not even 100 pages iirc. I know there's the usual Trot stuff in there about how the USSR is "between capitalism and socialism", but the economic side of it is decent enough imo.

Right wingers seem to think that's how the economy works though.

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I had the title right there and I still butchered it. Time to seppuku I guess

This was never a flaw to begin with, because value does not necessarily equal price, socially necessary labour was always a critical component of LTV, and LTV is meant to describe the underlying mechanisms of the entirety of capitalism, not singular thought experiments of magical diamonds and useless holes of dirt.

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That's not very useful. You completely discounted the value of the materials and the business and the salesmanship. The business outsourced the labor. The laborer outsourced everything else.

Obviously both worker and employer are powered by incentive, in this case profit.

Now if the worker disregards all other costs, he can feel he is entitled to a larger share of the profit, including the owners incentive. So your system as described works by discounting things that exist and will fail.

If your system doesn't handle edge cases, then it's fucked. You don't test a system just by the blue sky scenario. If your system caves under pressure it's going to be fucked by somebody

"Socially necessary" means average.

Suppose you have a entirely self employed bike producer and capitalist (Walmart) who buys the bikes to sell. The bike producer bears the full cost of bike production including acquiring the materials and needs to sell at $50 to cover material cost and living expenses (something similar was done by Toyota in Japan for car parts). Walmart purchases at this rate. Walmart adds additional value by transporting the bikes to their stores, they also pay a cost in advertising the bikes and a rent to the landlord of the stores, and finally add some markup for profit. Say this is $100 per bike. In the end the bike is sold for $150. Part of what walmart does is legitimate value adding labour (transportation) and part of it is rent and overhead. In this situation there is no exploitation of the producer but the market price of a bike is equivalent to 3 days for workers in the bike producers situation. If we convert walmart to a worker owned store and execute the landlords then the final cost can be reduced to $100. Then that is a win as bikes can now be purchased with 2 days labour.

Systems do not need to handle edge cases since 1. you cannot predict all edge cases and 2. there are numerous ways to adapt as they come up and 3. of the foreseeable edge cases it is much more productive to address ones that have a higher probability of happening. If anyone here were lucky enough to come up with a way to game an economic system they would not be here they would be named Soros

In fairness, assuming you're just assembling the bikes from parts made elsewhere and not making the entire bike yourself from scratch, you'd just be adding value to the pre-existing value of the bike, no? Granted, you're still going to be paid less than the value added, but still; if the total labour content of the bike is 30 hours and you perform, say, 5 of those when you assemble the bike, you're not going to receive 30 hours back, even under "to-each-according-to-his-labour" socialism.

I'd still direct OP towards either the Mandel book or the first chapter of Capital Vol. 1 here.

Marx (like Ricardo and every other classical economist) was writing about exchange value in markets, and finding a material basis for how these values arise (as they must, in order to have any coherent conception of political economy, otherwise you can't make any substantial arguments and you're reading tea leaves to try and understand the business cycle). It is impossible to compare directly use values or utility, or find some "real ultimate source" of value.

Book 1 Chapter 5 from the OG himself answers this question:
Bear in mind of course this is Adam Smith's opinion, and Marx refined this for his critique of capitalism by looking at the system in the aggregate (which is where the "socially necessary" part comes from; it has nothing to do with the mudpie argument, that argument is a nonsequitur because it is assumed anything coming to market for exchange ostensibly fulfills some utility to the buyer).

commies don't read Marx OP


This is how retardation looks like. Finish high school.

Incoherent screeching is not an argument.

That's one way to say "I have no idea what's going on in this thread."

Those materials fall under the same law of value; EG You cannot make X for an owner of capital with out it falling under the same rules.

I make X^2 for X and some rando mother fucker gets X^2.

It's labo0r all the way down.

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ltv is empirically verified

If you want the talking points
The only thing you can buy with money is somebodies's labour
you cannot pay the ground to spit out resources, you cannot pay the resources to assemble them-self's into machines and goods…

For the rest of your points look:

No, not true at all. Capital can be exchanged for other forms of capital.

Capital is fossilised labour son

Imagine being this stupid.

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Give up, money only can only do something, when people are payed to do something.

Two workers from different countries, say Canada and South Korea, meet up in a bar. Being students of macroeconomics in their spare time away from their jobs as blue collar workers, they exchange currency. The Canadian is betting that WON will accrue in value against his home currency, while the Korean thinks the CAD will appreciate against his currency.

Whose labour has been exploited? Is their counterparty the exploiter?

Exploitation takes place in the process of production, not circulation. "Two people exchanging money in a bar" is not how the economy functions.

It was an allegory for the largest market in the world, not a literal bar.

This seems like a goalpost move, the initial claim was that "money can only buy labour" I gave you an example of one form of capital being exchanged for another form of capital.

Capital exchanged for capital, and that initial capital on either side was not fossilized by supposedly exploiting someone elses' labour or extracting surplus value as was previously claimed.

So your economic thinking is based on 2 people, lol that's never going match reality.

you are talking to 2 different anons, I was the one that said that money can only buy labour, and this remains true for your bar example, it's just with extra steps. Otherwise it'd just be monopoly-play-tokens.

All capital is fossilised labour (to borrow that term from other user), this is very obvious when it comes to stuff like factory equipment or a house, but it also remains true for something like land, because land-ownership is basically a government funded exclusion service of keeping other people away. If we are talking about financial capital, or fictional capital in marxist jargon, then you have to look at what this financial capital relates to, again, without the link to the "physical economy" produce by labour it would just be monopoly-play-tokens.

Seriously, nigger?

I'm not the guy you were responding to in the first place, but sure.
Money alone isn't money-capital until it is used as such; for the purchase of means of production (constant capital in Marxist terms; e.g. raw materials or machinery) or labour-power (variable capital, i.e. wages). Until then, it's just money.

Not meant in the extreme literal sense of "money can only buy the act of labour" that you seem to have taken it, however. While not technically 100% correct in every case (Marx points out as an example in Capital vol. 1 the purchase of uncultivated land, which obviously has a price but not value in the Marxist sense), the point being made was that every commodity on the market is the product of human labour in some form or another. This goes back to Smith, though obviously he words it slightly differently to Marx:

Bit word salad-y, tbh. The point being made by "Capital is fossilised labour" is that capital is the product of past labour; it is, as Marx puts it, congealed labour. Exploitation and surplus-value extraction both refer to the same thing, that being the fact that private ownership of production makes it necessary for the owner to appropriate a portion of their employee's produce without compensation to fulfill their own needs both as individual (to purchase food etc.) and capitalist (to expand and maintain production), said portion being that produced above and beyond the immediate needs of the exploited employee - put simply, there is a discrepancy between the amount of labour-power that an employee expends per day and the amount of labour they receive back in the form of wages, a discrepancy that exists regardless of the "free" and "voluntary" nature of their contract and the formal equality of worker and owner.

I think you'd have a better time just reading the Mandel pamphlet, tbh. In a thread like this you're just going to get confused by anons talking over each other with our own probably-slightly-differing interpretations.

Money (capital) only arises from commodity exchange in the first place, not because someone decided they like having an arbitrary number of tokens to represent the worth of their land. There's a reason land prices are measured in commodity-money rather than territory points being the primary contributor to the price of goods, because the bulk of human exchange is not plots of land or legal privileges but of commodities that are extracted by labor, produced by labor, etc.

The excel simulation in that discussion is very convincing and almost threw me on a spin.

But it unwittingly proves Cockshott's point: the R² of the visually linear regression is 95% only once every 20 runs on average, which is exactly what such an R² means.

Here is Cockshott's response

And if I just execute people with bikes I can reduce the cost to $0.

No you can't because you need to be able to make enough from killing to keep yourself alive so the value of a bike becomes equivalent to the value required to keep an executioner alive which again is material cost and living expenses. Social customs can influence this cost, for example if cannibalism were acceptable then living expenses would be lower as a human body can provide nourishment for quite some time. If not, then you would need to exchange for other kinds of food and living expense would be higher.

I eat wild berries and animals I kill out in the forest. I still get free bikes.

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taking that scenario, imagine the owner decides to retire and leaves behind a manager in charge of the worker(s) who makes the bicycles. The new manager, even though he's doing exactly the same job the owner was, will be getting paid much less. A wage that's closer to what the owner "should" be paid.

I put should in quotes because no one should be paid at all, it should all be done in labor hours

So commies, how is it decided who owns what natural resource? Say there is an oil field. You say the worker collective who work the field get the prodits right? But what if another group of workers want to work the field but the workers at the original well say they are full up. Then the second group sets up a well right next to their well drilling the same patch of oil? What do the first group do? Feel free to replace oil field with, gold, silver, cobalt deposit whatever.

Or how about water rights? How are those established in communism?

I live downstream and build and operate a hydroelectric generator, someone upstream decides to dam the river and uses his labor to divert the water and irrigate his crops. What do I do?

There seem to be far too many holes in the theory. and Poverty_3.pdf

This is just a problem with coops/market socialism. In state socialism all is determined by a central plan with democratic inputs for priorotization. The goal is to get rid of incentives to be a greedy cunt.

But seperate states also conflict about the same issues. So badically you are telling me socialism can only function with a one world government?

Now you're getting it.

No. The workers of the oil field are given a labor voucher and then exchange this for goods and services.
Watch cockshott

No one "owns" the resource because no one has ownership rights over it.
same thing you would do now presumably, take him to court. Again resources aren't owned, their use however would be decided by society through voting for economic plans.

So presumably if we wanted to start a new oil well we would have to buy all the equipment with labor vouchers? How would we ac umulate enough labor vouchers to do that? What if the only way to pool enough labor vouchers was to bring more people on to the venture than could work on the well? How do the people who invested labor vouchers, but couldn't work the field because there wadn't enough work get renumerated?

By working

If you can't accumulate enough through plain work then your operation is inefficient and not deserving of expansion. The oil workers should re-purpose the land into some other functionality and then they can either continue working there in different professions or move elsewhere.

No, labour vouchers are redeemed for consumer goods, producer goods are allocated by an algorithm, you don't invest in an enterprise under communism.

your still thinking in today's terms. no one would have to buy or save up for an oil well. The labor vouchers aren't money, they're simply there to keep track of the economy. If an oil well was to be built, the materials and labor to build it would be paid out during construction. The point where people invest is all done through taxes. everyone everywhere benefits from the oil well, so everyone would be giving up some of their labor hours to go towards this oil well. Watch the video dude

Your post makes no sense. Your operation produces product after it is operational, but an upfront sum is needed to create the product before the product is made.

Honestly it's like most of ypu can't even gradp badic economics.

So then who devides whether the oil well should be but or not?

Who makes the algorithm?

and to pre-empt your other question, if the investment turns out bad then we all eat the cost.

To put it in boogeyman terms: the state
People would vote on some overall economic plan. I don't think people are going to be voting on individual projects like an oil well. It's more like voting for a plan and then the particularities are left to whoever is in charge. If someone, or a group of people, didn't want an oil well on their home, they'd use some local democracy to block the measure. akin to what already happens today with things like oil pipelines.

So what? Every industry is like that. You've never saved up the fruits of your labour and then invested it for the purpose of more gain?


Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds

So why would this state be anymore trustworthy than any other syate that has existed in the course of human history?

Why should it be more trustworthy?

I am saying states have proven to be completely untrustworthy so anything resulting in more government control will prove to be worse in the long run.

there are many candidates today for what algorithm should be used. Companies like Amazon have similar ones in use today for predicting which are the best warehouses to house certain commodities, predicting what's going to be needed where.
You can read more about them here

you'll have to clarify what you mean. As a communist I don't believe state actors do bad things because of evil people or power corrupting or whatever. Things are better explained through economic incentives. So if you're question is something like "won't there be some level of corruption or people finding out ways to favor themselves at the expense of some other". Maybe, but its a much more transparent system than any ones before, you can't hide or wash or amass labor vouchers. The corruption would be much more visible because the whole economy is geared towards production instead of money.

Maybe we could all the algorithm "NASDAQ" and make it 50 years ago

The same way you can see now the corruption in your manager, when he gives more hours to some coworkers he's fucking over you. It would be that type of visible in a communist society.

I don't know about that. The USSR did great under Stalin. All we need to do is master cloning and fill event government post with a clone of Stalin.


The fact that the manager wants to fuck you over is his problem. The fact that he has the power to fuck you over is your problem. What are you doing about your problems? What legal and illegal countermeasures can you take? Have you taken them?

But you are saying the government is the original source and distributor of all labor vouchers, so by definition they have amassed an infinite supply of labor vouchers. Let us put aside personal corruption for the moment, what would stop the proliferation of "pork barrel spending" under your proposed system?

There is a theoretical finite supply of labour vouchers which is the number of people multiplied by the length of the working day. In reality the number will be lower as not every person works and some may choose to work for smaller lengths of time. Labour vouchers are not money they for record keeping. Think of it as a distributed ledger system.

The government only manages the labor vouchers. Since they are a marker for an amount of labor in society. IF the government were to create labor vouchers that didn't exist in reality, it would immediately be apparent in the real world. The government has planned with more labor hours available than there really are, so you'd have a situation where there would be jobs but no one to do them. No one to give the labor that the government said would be available.

How are you using algorithms that fuck over the little guy as an argument FOR being ruled by financial algorithms?

Georgism is unironically the best way to despook libertarians on the idea of rent-seeking being legitimate and on the idea of natural resource ownership as a whole.

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This post made by

Amazons central planning algorithm has nothing to do with their exploitation. They're separate phenomena. It helps everyone when the fleshlight you order arrives in your house the next day instead of taking a week. Its greater efficiency. The workers could be non-exploited and it wouldn't affect the algorithm, or they could stop using the algorithm and keep exploiting their workers. So idk what you're trying to say.

No, whether or not 1 day delivery is good or bad depends on the technology used to achieve fast delivery and of course the organization of the workplace. You need to account for pollution from delivery, from packaging, etc. Even if Amazon were collectively owned, if the technical base of society cannot support 1 day delivery in a way that minimizes pollution then we cannot say it's a good thing to have. I'm just nit picking here, there's nothing wrong with the rest of your post.

The algorithms are a tool and a means, they aren't inhernetly bad or good on their own. Currently they are primarily tooled to maximize profit for the company, but they could as easily be used to improve the standard of living and lifestyles of the workers.

You guys didn't answer the second part: how does your proposed system stop the wasteful distribution of resources for the pet projects of the powerful in the government?

If people are actually so dumb that they cannot recognize that they've spend 3 months working 8 hours a day on a wasteful pet project then they fucking deserve it. You don't assume your enemies are incompetent in war nor in business.

You work because brcause they have "the producer goods and are issuing the labor vouchers.

Yes this is a materialist understanding of social relations.

I answered this with corruption or favoritism in government planning would be as obvious as it is in your personal life today. Again, i'm not sure what you mean by pet project, as people are voting on these things so people would have to be tricked into voting for idk, a gold mansion?

A worst-case scenario I can imagine is some racial injustice like ignoring development in a major black neighborhood or something but again, you'd see it happen in material reality. roads that never get fixed, unmaintained public parks, etc.

In Cockshotts case, this would be prevented through the use direct democratic input by the workers themselves during planning. In the case of systems that utlize something akin to sortition, this would be prevented by having individuals forcibly moved out over time and then having replacements selected at random from a pool of qualified individuals who have the skills to oversee such projects and areas of research.

Ok I will pull examples (Don't mind the fox news link.):

? Video Game for Your Future Self: Robert Wittman, R-Va. – More than $650,000 funded video games designed to “make the future feel close,” allowing adolescents to explore their future selves. These games are titled “My World of Dreams,” “The Valley of Others,” “Disappointment Bridge,” and “The Sea of Hope.”

Zoombinis Computer Game: Katherine Clark, D-Mass. – The National Science Foundation (NSF) granted more than $658,000 to redevelop a 1990s computer game called “The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis” where children create their own small blue creature – the Zoombini – to help them through adventure challenges.

Full list here:

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A couple of things, first is that this government waste is a form of corruption. The money put into it is used not only to fund the project but also for kickbacks. Its a sort of money laundering.

Second is that this gets into a subjective idea of what weird is an conflates it with unnecessary. While I don't think any of these things would exist in a moneyless society. There probably will be things that you personally disagree with or find "weird". And vise-versa government programs that benefit you but someone else disagrees with. Again, economic planning is a democratic process, so your problem in such a case would be with democracy, not the economy.

I agree, amd that is my point. Your hypothetical spciety seems to be reliant on a perfect democracy, something that has never existed. Also spending all your time talking about the flaws of capitalism without talking about how you will make a perfect democracy which has never once existed in human historu does not make for a cpnvincing argument.


I don’t see how the shortcomings of the at least nominally democratic government are a justification to just give the power/wealth to people and groups without any public oversight, like billionaires, NGOs etc. The government at worst can be as bad as they are but can potentially be a lot better.

if i was after a perfect society, i'd want a perfect democracy. But i'm not, just one that's better(less exploitative, more efficient) than this one. And communism qualifies.

Because with private capital people can waste money on apple watches, dragon dildos, and fur suits and I never have to worry because it is someone elses money,not my problem. When everything is funded with taxes on labor vouchers then I suddenly have to worry about every stupid little thing other people want to forcibly take the product of my labors to pay for.

That's the whole point of democracy is you are part of decision making process. And even still it is voluntary, you can forfeit your chance to make your voice heard if you're too lazy. Are you american btw?

The capitalists are already taking the product of your labour in surplus value, that is where profit comes from. How is this different from taxes.

But the tax isn't voluntary. So whichever system taxes the least leaves me with the most democratic power to decide how the product of my own labor will be spent.

Where is the proof that under socialism the tax will not ultimately be greater?

It's actually different because the capitalists not just reinvest the profit, but waste on shit like mansions and sport cars.

It's actually voluntary. You can always go to the forest and survive by picking berries :^)

My ultimate goal in life. At least under capitalism I can buy the right to put a perimeter around my forest. What advantage would socialism have for me?

In western capitalist countries the labour share of income is around 50%, so you are already giving half of your labour product to rich people who you have zero control over. All taxes are just on the half that us left. It's not hard to go lower than that, but you would have much cheaper housing for example which would give a greater material living standard which is what ultimately counts and not getting stuck optimizing a single intermediary variable like tax rate.

No, the system that leaves you with greater ability to turn your labour into goods and services will benefit you. If taxes go into reducing the cost of production and cost of living then a smaller end income value will still result in more acquirable goods and services. Think of it a purchasing power or in more concrete terms, my income of $150k yearly looks bigger than my grandfather's income of $20k yearly but he was actually wealthier at that time. Keep in mind that he was living in the time of 90+% income tax.

The capitalists state doesn't want you to do that and will use the state to make it illegal

yeah I was gonna mention that. your error is in assuming the free exchange of commodities(money is just a type of a commodity) means everyone is given a free choice. All you're saying is that you prefer your position within the current system over the idea of being equal with others. Private capital isn't private, it structures the world, and the more property you posses the less accountable you are to anyone else.

Inherently, everyone of a certain class is taking the product of the labors of an underclass. No one can simply waste their money on fur suits, someone has to make that fur suit, and if they don't make that fur suit, they starve and die. They don't get a say in how they or their community works. Now the more money you have the more possibilities you have for controlling your environment, but this is already always going to mediated through this system that necessarily is exploiting someone else for every exploitation you avoid.

There's no way to be free under capitalism. You're always either someone's master or servant. It's simply obfuscated by money, to convince you that you're just an individual making choices. You're already part of a larger system that tells you where to put your labor, you just don't see it. You already *SHOULD* worry about every stupid little thing other people want. maybe you don't because you're on the more powerful side of the equation more often. But if you're going to be working in a factory, laboring to create apple watches and dragon dildos, for the rest of your life, is it unreasonable to want a say in what you're doing?

Does the LTV take meritocracy into account? Why should an inefficient worker receive the same compensation as an adept and proficient worker?

The LTV is not a theory about wages and compensation. An inefficient worker is typically punished.

I should clarify my language a bit, the more money you have the more power you have to structure your, and everyone else's environment. with no input or democratic oversight from them.

Leading into this, under capitalism you can indeed own land and do what you want with it. You can also be someone that was living on that land, or had something important on that land, thats now been bought out, literally from under you, and you have no say in what happens to it. See, israel. You're always picturing yourself in the advantageous position, and not seeing all the ways that not only you already are, but could easily become subjugated by a force with a little bit more capital than you.