[OPE-L:4007] Re: Re: Re: Re: Surplus value or surplus argument?

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Sat Oct 07 2000 - 23:52:48 EDT

On Sun, 8 Oct 2000, Steve Keen wrote:

> Subject: [OPE-L:4006] Re: Re: Re: Surplus value or surplus argument?
> When I said that surplus value is proportional to necessary labor, I meant
> that in the labor theory of value the ratio S/V is taken as constant. 

Do you mean (as I take from your next sentence) that the ratio S/V is
taken as constant ACROSS INDUSTRIES?  If so, I don't see this as a
necessary assumption (see more on this below).  But in any case, the
constancy of the rate of surplus-value across industries does not imply
that surplus-value is proportional to NECESSARY labor.  Surplus-value is
proportional to SURPLUS labor.  Surplus-value would be proportional to
necessary only if the rate of surplus-value (S/V) were = 1.  So I am still
puzzled about why you say that surplus-value is proportional to necessary

> If your key equation is instead
> S= m.L - V
> then I don't see how you can maintain a constant rate of surplus value
> across industries. Therefore if this equation is made pivotal, I think you
> have a rather different theory to the one Marx set out.

The equation

	S  =  mL  - V

is an equation for the total economy as a whole, not for individual
industries.  For the analysis of the total economy, it doesn't really
matter whether the rate of surplus-value is constant or not.  But just to
clarify, could you please explain more why you think that this equation
makes it difficult to "maintain a constant rate of surplus-value across

And my main point remains:  according to my interpretation, surplus-value
is proportional to surplus labor.


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