[OPE-L:3011] Re: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Defining accumulation

From: JERRY LEVY (jlevy@sescva.esc.edu)
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 06:43:10 EDT

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Re Paul C's [OPE-L:3007]:

There are a number of problems that I see if one views the accumulation
of capital only in stock terms. To begin with, the "primary" unit of
measurement in the accumulation of capital is a *flow* -- i.e. the
quantity of *money capital* that can be used for the purposes of
unproductive consumption *or* accumulation. If there is accumulation,
then, the quantity of money capital advanced for the purchase of
constant capital and variable capital increases. How this affects
(relates to) the composition of capital is another matter. What is
most relevant for the purpose of this discussion is that a) prior
to the beginning of any "period of production" (yes, I know you
don't like that term) there must be an expansion of the productive
consumption of surplus value and capital; b) this requires that
capitalists invest more *money capital* in c & v; c) variable
capital can not be thought of as a "stock".

What I find rather perplexing, though, about your position is
that if you think of the accumulation of capital only in stock
terms, how do you calculate the rate of profit? I.e. if you
view c as a stock and v (and s?) as a flow, then how can we
develop a meaningful measure with these diverse categories?
If, however, there is a necessary link between c and v and
value *and the value-form* and thereby *money* then such a
calculation is possible. Of course, it is true that a certain
amount of constant capital is "tied-up" and "released" during
the production process which means, among other things,
that it is easier to do the calculations at the close of
any "production period" (even though there remains a stock
of constant fixed capital which is depreciating in the
production process, the value of which has to be calculated).

Or, it's quite possible that I have misunderstood your point.
In which case, I qould appreciate clarification.

In solidarity, Jerry

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