[OPE-L:3701] Re: Re: Fred M's interpretation

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Mon Aug 21 2000 - 17:42:39 EDT

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Reproduced below Fred's is recent post giving detail on Fred's
notion of 'adjusting for capital gains'.


This adjustment is quite clearly crucial, especially on your reading,
whereby 'ADJUSTED' dM is the main focus of Marx's book.

You say that capital gains (losses) are due to 'changing asset
prices'. I must confess that I don't understand this idea. I speculate
that you really mean adjusting for changing technology from the
point in time that capital is advanced to the point in time of the sale
of the final product. I guess, also, that the idea is connected with
Marx's early ruling out of exchange as a source of surplus value
(chapter 4, or 5, I can't remember which). I am probably horribly
wrong. But it would seem crucial that you clarify the idea (at least
for me - it may be obvious to everyone else).

You mentioned in your post (3685) that Marx's method is different
to mathematical models with exogenous and endogenous
variables. You linked this to the procedure of taking as 'given'
variables which are to be explained later, and you related this to
Hegel. I am very intrigued! I think that you need to make the
clarification requested in the above paragraph in order to justify
these intriguing propositions!

Many thanks,


On 17 Aug 2000, at 8:51, Fred B. Moseley wrote:

> 3. The M and the dM are ADJUSTED FOR CAPITAL GAINS (or losses) due to
> changing asset prices. Marx's theory is not intended to explain the dM
> that arises from capital gains; that is easy to explain. Rather, Marx's
> is intended to explain how dM happens WITHOUT CAPITAL GAINS - that is the
> difficult and interesting question. That is why Marx assumed CURRENT
> COSTS. This is all current costs means: adjusting M and dM for capital
> gains or losses, in order explain the (theoretically more significant) dM
> that remains.
> 4. In the explanation of the adjusted dM, the adjusted M is taken as
> given. Marx's theory attempts to explain the adjusted dM on the basis of
> the given adjusted initial M (and Marx's "labor theory of value"). In
> other words, Marx's theory attempts to explain how the given adjusted
> initial M becomes M + dM.
> Marx divided the initial M into two theoretically significant components:
> constant capital and variable capital (i.e M = C + V). Since the
> initial M is taken as given, so are its two components (C and V).
> Constant capital is the component of M that is affected by capital gains
> and losses. Therefore, the constant capital that is taken as given is the
> adjusted constant capital (i.e. the constant capital in current costs).

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