[OPE-L:3563] Re: RE: Re: RE: money-capital as initial givens

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Jul 05 2000 - 11:06:02 EDT

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At 00:58 05/07/00 +0100, you wrote:
>My point is that the scale of what capitalists earn will vary with the
>amount of money put forward at the start of the M-C-M' circuit. And since
>you agree that M can be expanded from credit then the scale of M' is driven
>by what what capitalists spend (M) as initial outlays. What they spend is
>not constrained by what they earn, it is only constrained by credit
>arrangements. In this sense they earn what they spend. Regardless of the
>volume of surplus labour produced in the previous period they can expand
>their money spending in accordance with how much can be borrowed. The volume
>of surplus labour is therefore driven by the initial money spend.
>Am not sure if I am articulating this well, but I think if you view
>capitalism as a monetary production economy then this way of reasoning
>follows logically. Viewing surplus labour as the starting point, as if it
>was some sort of virtual bank holding labour units, is akin I think to a
>corn model in which the farmer holds corn units.
>Yours comradely, Andrew.

Andrew, I am not sure that you should imply any opposition between
Marx and Kalecki on this. I think that Kalecki's dynamic equations are
derived from a reading of chapter 20 part 5 of volume 2 of capital, where
Marx makes essentially the same point. The argument is implicit
throughout this section but is brought out clearly in the paragraph:

>So far as the entire capitalist class is concerned, the proposition
>that it must itself throw into circulation the money required for the
>realisation of its surplus-value (correspondingly also for the
>circulation of its capital, constant and variable) not only fails to appear
>paradoxical, but stands forth as a necessary condition of the
>entire mechanism. For there are here only two classes: the working-class
>disposing only of its labour-power, and the capitalist class,
>which has a monopoly of the social means of production and money. It would
>rather be a paradox if the working-class were to advance in the
>first instance from its own resources the money required for the
>realisation of the surplus-value contained in the commodities.
>But the individual capitalist makes this advance only by acting as a buyer,
>expending money in the purchase of articles of consumption or
>advancing money in the purchase of elements of his productive capital,
>whether of labour-power or means of production. He never parts
>with his money unless he gets an equivalent for it. He advances money
>to the circulation only in the same way as he advances commodities
>to it. He acts in both instances as the initial point of their circulation.

This is basically Kalecki's point. I am not sure whether Marx fully
realised the implications of this for dynamics, or even for the general
explanation for the existence of profit, but even now, I dont think
anyone has clearly explained the interrelation between Kalecki's
equations for the determination of profit, and the production of
surplus value.

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