[OPE-L:3873] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: m in Marx's theory

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@MAIL.WESLEYAN.EDU)
Date: Fri Sep 22 2000 - 17:46:19 EDT

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Concerning this exchange between Ajit and Fred:
>> _____________________Fred, basically your S is equal to (m.L - V), i.e. S =
>> (m.L - V), where according to you, you know your L and V but not m. Thus
>> S is neither known in absolute terms nor to any degree of "proposnality".
>> is so simple that i cannot believe I have to explain it to you so many

>Ajit, I am afraid that you haven't explained it even once yet. I have
>argued that Marx's theory concludes that the magnitude of surplus-value is
>proportional to surplus labor-time, with m as the factor of
>proportionality (i.e. S = m Ls). Why isn't this determination up to a
>factor of proportionality? Please be specific. What more is needed to
>make this equation determination up to a factor of proportionality? If m
>were determined, then the absolute magnitude of S would be
>determined. But if m is not determined, then the magnitude of S is
>determined up to a factor of proportionality. Why not?

>I would really appreciate some comments by other listmembers on this key
>specific point. How else are we going to resolve this dispute? Am I
>missing something or is Ajit? If Marx's theory concludes that S = m Ls,
>doesn't this determine S up to a factor of proportionality? If not, why

Here's why not, Fred: if m is not known, S is not "determined up to a[n
unkown] factor of proportionality" because *Ls* is not known either, since
by your own specification, its determination depends on m as well. For
example, suppose your theory had established that S is just equal to m
times FARGBLARGBIFFENBAFFEN. If it can't be determined what
FARGBLARGBIFFENBAFFEN is, then there is no meaningful sense in which S is
"determined" up to the unknown factor of proportionality m. To put it
another way: Given L and V and unknown but (let's suppose) strictly
positive m, S could be negative, zero, or positive. It's hardly
"determined", then, up to any factor of proportionality, as you would have

N.B. The above should not be taken to condone the use of condescension or
insult on the list. Let's face it, folks, it's very difficult to debate
highly complicated issues in this medium, so it's quite possible that even
intelligent, informed, and well-meaning discussants might fail to make
themselves understood. Frustrating, yes (and I certainly can't say that
I've dealt well with the frustration in all cases), but there it is. Gil

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