[OPE-L:3655] Re: Re: Fred M's interpretation

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Mon Aug 14 2000 - 07:20:00 EDT

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Rakesh, Fred, and all,

I think Rakesh is probing deeply into Fred's transformation. I leave
it to Fred to clarify, but offer the following development of Rakesh's
view (this interpretation of Fred was suggested to me by Alfredo):

Basically, Rakesh has missed one further aspect of Fred's
treatment of constant capital. According to Fred, the value
'transferred' to the final product does *not* equal the actual sum of
money laid out, in the past, to purchase the relevant means of
production. Rather, it equals the money that would have to be laid
out *now* (ie. at the time of sale of the final product) in order to
purchase the means of production that were used in producing the
product. This is all rather obscured in Fred's presentation where,
following Marx, he talks of value 'transfer' from the means of
production of constant capital as a GIVEN. Nevertheless, as far as
I can see, Fred is clear that it is the current price of the means of
production (the price at the time of sale of the final product), not the
price of the means of production when they were actually
purchased, that is the 'GIVEN' magnitude constant capital.

To put it another way: it is in one sense rather peculiar to call the
magnitude of constant capital 'given', since its magnitdue at the
point of sale of the final product is different to its magnitude at the
starting point of the production process.

Fred, is the above totally wrong? Certainly, if it is right there would
seem to be some difficulties with the position. As I think Alfredo
may have pointed out to you, the above view would suggest that
the magnitiude of constant capital is *not* given, thus causing
underdetermination of the system.

Many thanks,


On 12 Aug 2000, at 11:18, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> One more reason can be easily added. If the value workers transfer from
> the means of production is determined by their money price, then why must
> a capitalist raise the rate of exploitation to appropriate the same rate
> of profit if the socially necessary labor time needed to reproduce the
> means of production has been revolutionized via a technological
> innovation? Obviously the value of the means of production has dropped,
> which then affects the value that they can transfer to the final product.
> But if constant capital is not the value transferred to the final product,
> then its meaning has has been turned into a synonym for the mpcp. And
> surely Fred means more than that. Understanding Marx in dynamic terms
> implies that c is defined by the vmp, which is indeed an inherently
> dynamic category unlike cpmp which is as Fred correctly says a datum in
> the transformation.

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