[OPE-L:3179] Accelerated ACcumulation

From: ernst@pipeline.com
Date: Sat May 13 2000 - 11:14:17 EDT

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I think one needs to take Andrew head on when he refers to
Grossmann. Let's face it what he says is ultimately
true even if one dredges up quotes about constant values as
accumulation takes place. That is, if Grossmann's use
of the schemes and the notion of periodically insufficient
masses of surplus value are relevant to an understanding of
Marx, then you've got to deal directly with Andrew's
statement that

"(c) I think the Bauer-Grossmann scheme is ludicrous. It assumes
*constant* rates of increase in c and v even though values are *falling*,
which implies that demand for the material components of c and v grows at
an ever-accelerating rate and eventually outstrips supply. This excess
demand is in fact what leads to the 'breakdown' of capitalism! "

That said, let's give it a try.

1. To assume that the exchange values visible to capitalists are
constant as accumulation takes place in the fashion depicted
in the schemes is simply silly. In doing so, we would be insisting
that capitalist invest even though each and every investment from
period to period brings about a lower rate of profit.

2. As the rate of profit falls, there is technical change -- period.
You can't assume away changes in technique and even pretend to
be dealing with the Marx's notion of the falling rate of profit.

3. As accumulation takes place, individual values are indeed falling
no matter what one's concept of value is.

3. Given simply the schemes, there is no reason to believe the
social values would fall from period to period. With constant
social values for all commodities, the real wage would be constant
and "c" in terms of social value would indeed grow at "an ever-accelerating
rate." Is this accelerated accumulation "ludicrous"? Can demand *never*
outstrip supply? Do not rising prices signal the beginning of a
crisis or temporary *breakdown* of the accumulation process?

Andrew, I'm unclear about how you view Marx's notion of "accelerated
accumulation." Surely, Marx is not simply confused about what
acceleration is.



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