[OPE-L:3012] Re: Re: Re: Re: Defining accumulation

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 08:43:12 EDT

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"clyder" <wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk> said, on 05/04/00 at 09:54 AM:

>> Yours is nothing other than a neoclassical focus of "accumulation of
>>capital" used by Solow, et al. It does not even use value categories
>>(as in "constant capital"), much less consider that accumulation has
>>anything to do with the producing class.
>> Paul Z.

>This is unfair.

>I take it as read that the source of value is productive labour. The
>at issue is when can we say that accumulation is taking place. I say that
>it involves 'a net increase in the value of the stock of capital'. The
>I am using is clearly a value category, I could hardly state it more
>By a net increase in the value of the stock of capital I mean a net
>increase in its value measured in labour hours.

Your message so emphasized physical means of production that I could stand
by my statement that yours can be read neoclassically ("value of the stock
of capital" can mean "K" in a neoclassical context). However, in the
context of this list I accept your point that you meant "constant capital"
as Marx defined it. If an apology is needed, you have it from me.

>This differs from neoclassical formulations in the unit of account.

>As your own article points out Marx acknowledges that a growth of the
>work force employed by capital is not a precondition for accumulation,
>the definition
>of accumulation thus can not depend on the current size of the work

You are a little me trying to use me against myself, but what I wrote is
that Marx's concept is ambiguous and I am strugging against the ambiguity.
Toward the end of section one I begin a struggle against a definition of
accumulation of capital being growth of either constant capital, c, by
itself, or c +v.

>In determining whether capital accumulation is taking place one is
>concerned with stock calculations. Accumulation is a rate of change of
>stock. The only form of capital stock is what Marx calls constant
>capital. Variable capital does
>not exists as a stock, it is a flow measure. The corresponding stock
>measure is,
>as Smith and Ricardo pointed out, the stock of subsistence goods held by
>retailers etc against which wages are exchanged.

You are offering an alternative definition: "accumulation of capital is
growth of constant capital, c"? If so, what is the difference between
yourself and neoclassical economics on accumulation, other than the unit
of account?

Thanks, Paul Z.

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