[OPE-L:4000] Re: Re: Re: Surplus value or surplus argument?

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Sat Oct 07 2000 - 00:59:17 EDT

This is a reply to Ajit's (3981) and Steve K's (3984)

On Fri, 6 Oct 2000, Ajit Sinha wrote:

> Steve Keen wrote:
> > Thanks Fred,
> >
> > Yes it is proportionality in the strict sense of the word, but it is no
> > longer Marx's theory in the strict sense of the word.
> _________________
> No it is not proportional Setve! Fred is entirely wrong. And he is wrong because
> he does his mathematics upside down. He first "defines"
> S = m.Ls (here m is supposed to be "given" but unknown, and Ls is definitely an
> unknown, otherwise he will not need his other two equations. And from this he
> keeps claiming that his S is proportional to Ls with the proportionality factor
> m). Now since his Ls is unknown, he defines Ls as
> Ls = (L - Ln), now in this equation L is supposed to be known but Ln is still
> unknown. Therefore, he goes for his third equation where Ln is defined as
> Ln = V/m, where V is supposed to be known and m is the "given unknown". So
> ultimately what his S turns out to be?
> S = (m.L - V), as you have correctly put in your later part of the post as
> "Surplus is an unobservable number times L, minus workers' wages?"
> Therefore, contrary to Fred's claim S is not proportional to anything with the
> proportionality factor m. Cheers, ajit sinha

Ajit, it is you who "does his mathematics upside down"; or rather your
summary of the logic of my interpretation of Marx's theory is the OPPOSITE
of what I have argued, in several articles and many OPEL posts.  My
interpretation (truncated) is the following:

First, surplus-value is derived as:

(1) 	S   =   mL  - V

Then, because Ln is defined as V/m and Ls is defined as L - Ln, 
equation (1) implies:

(2)	S   =   m Ls

In other words, equation (2) is derived from equation (1), not the other
way around.  

Equation (1) does NOT mean that S is not proportional to Ls.  Rather, it
means that S is not proportional to L.  This is how Steve originally
expressed his criticism of my interpretation, but it is in fact not a
criticism, because I never argued that S is proportional to L; only that S
is proportional to Ls. Equation (1) is not an argument against equation
(2), as Ajit and Steve suggest.  Rather, equation (2) is derived from
equation (1).   

Thus, I argue that, according to my interpretation, S is clearly
proportional to Ls.  No problem.


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