[OPE-L:3656] Re: Re: Re: Fred M's interpretation

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Mon Aug 14 2000 - 11:03:03 EDT

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>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.

OK so we agree that constant capital has to be defined in such a way that
it can be dynamically redetermined.

So if we define constant capital as the money paid for inputs, then it must
be the money needed to purchase the inputs at current prices.

That means then that not only constant capital but a commodity's cost price
is being dynamically redetermined. That means a commodity has multiple cost
prices (its real one and a series of hypothetical ones) but cost price is a
datum, a given precondition and all that--as Andrew astutely points out.

It seems to me then that Fred's interpretation implies the assumption of
multiple cost prices for which I know of no textual evidence at all.

If however we define constant capital as the value transferred--not the
price paid for the means of production--then constant capital can indeed be
dynamically redetermined even as the cost price of a commodity remains how
it is defined in Marx's texts--a datum or a given precondition.

All the best, Rakesh

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