[OPE-L:3048] Re: Defining accumulation

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 08:19:11 EDT

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Paul Cockshott <wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk> said, on 05/08/00 at 12:49 PM:
>>Accumulation is driven by growth of the living labor portion, the portion
>>which produces value and surplus value, not the dead labor portion --
>>corresponding to a theme in Vol. 1 -- "accumulation of capital is,
>>therefore, increase of the proletariat". [PZ]

>If you define it as such, you have no theory of accumulation as disinct
>from the growth of the working class.

    Do you mean "growth of employment", rather than "growth of the working
class"? A theory of accumulation is not a theory of population growth
(with or without labor participation rates included), not for myself and
not for Marx. (A theory of accumulation could have an IMPLICATION for
population growth, however.)

>We know that with cheapening of the elements of constant
>capital, it is possible for employment to rise whilst the value of the
>capital stock remains unchanged. Thus we could have growth of the
>proletariat whilst the capitalist class consumed all of the surplus in
>idle luxury.

    Yours is an interesting hypothetical, rather the opposite of the whole
"c/v rising" jive. It is of course connected to production of relative
surplus value, and I'll need to think more if it needs incorporation into
my paper somehow.

>By identifying growth in employment with capital accumulation you run the
>danger of detaching the concept from that of the the capitalisation of
>surplus value.

>One can say that capital accumulation tends to be positively correlated
>with a growth of employment but it is not identical.

    We would still be left with the question of definition of accumulation
of capital.

>>On your second point, accumulation of capital of course refers to much
>>more than the falling rate of profit. [PZ]

>Yes but you asked me where my theory would differ from the neo-classical.

    Then, except for units of measurement in the rate of profit, your
"accumulation of capital" is otherwise indistinguishable from the
neoclassical (and my original criticism may not be so "unfair" after all).

Paul Z.

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