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Steve noted this passage:
>"It also has to be postulated (which was not done above) that the use value
>of the machine significantly greater than its value; i.e. that its
>devaluation in the service of production is not proportional to its
>increasing effect on production." (Grundrisse 383).
Here he considers the introduction of machinery which is double in cost to
the equipment it is replacing while employing the same number of workers.
The disproportionality here is that output is more than tripled despite it
only costing twice as much.
The more than tripling of use values produced however allows the same labor
costs to be spread over so many more units that unit values fall despite
the doubling of depreciation costs per unit. The older capital is "done for
because its selling price is infinitely too high" (384). Yet the rate of
profit has fallen for the new capital, though the rate of exploitation has
So far from the consumption of dead labor creating surplus value in this
example--indeed this section of the Grundrisse is largely devoted to
demonstrating that capitalists who do not pay the worker for the
preservation of old value nonetheless demand the renumeration for giving
the workers permission to preserve that old capital--the introduction of
machinery actually engenders lower profit rate.
Of course this raises the question of why any capitalist would introduce
such machinery, but that's not the point here.
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