[OPE-L:3673] Re: Re: Re: Rakesh's interpretation

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Tue Aug 15 2000 - 13:05:33 EDT

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>A quick comment and question for you to think about. In your latest
>posts, you do not seem to have answered my question of what exactly Volume
>1 is about. I say it is mainly about the determination of dM, which means
>that the explanation has to be in terms of money, and the concepts
>employed in this explanation (constant capital, variable capital, and
>surplus-value) have to be defined in terms of money (which indeed they
>Do you agree or disagree?

 Certainly surplus value is not defined in terms of money because it has no
direct existence in the market system of prices. What is observable are
money magnitudes since money price is the necessary form of appearance of
value. At one point Marx assumes that the money laid out for the means of
production is equal to the value of those means of production consumed in
the commodity. So yes at this stage Constant capital is defined in money
terms. Marx also assumes that wage goods are sold at value; if they sold
above this value, then out the MONEY sum of variable capital, a capitalist
would be able to hire fewer workers. If the wage goods sold below value,
then the capitalist would be able to hire more workers and raise the rate
of exploitation.

That is, once we relax the assumption that price=value we still have money
sums laid out to purchase means of production and hire workers but we do
not know the value which will be transferred from the means of production
(constant capital) and we do not know the rate of exploitation (s/v) until
we determine how the money price of wage goods has diverged from their
value in the immediately prior period of production.

These are the corrections to cost price for which Marx is calling vol 3

>What does Grossman say Volume 1 is about? Is there anything in English on

Michael Lebowitz translated parts of Grossmann's essay on the plant of
Capital, I think in Science and Society. Grossmann's wert preis and gold
production pieces from the 1930s have never been translated. William J
Blake follows Grossmann pretty carefull--Sweezy did not include Grossmann's
pieces in the value book he put out though he claimed to be following G's
method of successive approximations. Donna helped me translate some of the
last two essays and then like Cuvier I tried to reconstruct the whole
animal out of the bones I had.

 His interpretation of Marx's method as one of "successive
>approximations", as I understand it, is pretty much the standard
>interpretation, according to which Volume 1 is the "value system",

No. As I pointed out to Duncan, Grossmann's point was that there is an
excess of form in vol 1 and that individual capitals are treated only as
aliquots of total capital, exactly as you have it.

>i.e. is about the determination of "labor-values", and is not about money
>and prices at all. Then how do we make sense of the derivation of
>money in Section 3 of Chapter 1? Of the "transformation of money into
>capital" in Part 2 and beyond? Of the explanation of dM in Chapter 7?

I really don't understand the challenge here.

All the best, Rakesh

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