[OPE-L:3922] Re: Re: Re: Re: m in Marx's theory

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Sun Oct 01 2000 - 09:20:27 EDT

Gil, thanks very much for your interesting and helpful posts.  This is a
response to (3920).

You are right, I am making a different argument in my last post
(3895) than in (3831).  I argued in (3895) that new-value and
surplus-value are not just determined up to a factor of
proportionality; rather they are UNIQUELY determined, because m is taken
as given as a unique value.  Marx's theory assumes that there is an actual
m in the economy, with a definite magnitude; i.e. that each hour of
abstract labor produces a definite quantity m of money new-value.  It is
this actual m, with a definite magnitude, that is taken as given in Marx's
theory of new-value and surplus-value.    

In my (3831), I temporarily forgot this fundamental assumption in Marx's
theory, and assumed incorrectly (as you do) that, because m is not
determined, m could be any value.  In which case new-value would be
determined only up to the factor of proportionality m.  But this is not
true. Even though m is not determined, m cannot have any value.   At a
given point in time, m has a unique value, the actual m in the economy.  
m may of course change from time to time.  But at a given point in time, 
m is assumed to have a definite, unique value.  This unique m, along with
other givens, uniquely determines new-value and surplus-value (the actual
new-value and surplus-value in the economy).  

Why is not permissible to take this unique, actual m as given?

It would of course be better to explain the determination of m.  But the
lack of determination of m does not mean that surplus-value is
indeterminant.  Because the actual m is taken as given, which uniquely
determines the actual surplus-value. 

A reply to your (3904) forthcoming.  Thanks again.


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