[OPE-L:4076] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: e: m in Marxs theory

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Thu Oct 12 2000 - 19:50:45 EDT

Re Gil's 4069

>  Except for the
>possibility of divergent input/output prices, which at least is not
>*logically* alien to the Sraffian system, the indicated terms are all
>perfectly recognizable Sraffian entities.

Whether they are Sraffian entities is beside the point: your profit 
rate is no longer being determined simultaneously with prices so I 
don't recognize this as the neo Ricardian rival to Marx's theory of 
the determination of the average profit rate. Remember Fred has laid 
out two methods: the simultaneism implicit in linear production 
theory or the monetary-macro theory. What you have here seems to me 
Sraffian in some appearances only. But maybe I am missing the 
point--it wouldn't be the first time.

>Marx's theoretical analysis of the profit rate in Capital Volume III is
>based on dividing top and bottom of this ratio by the value of labor power
>(presumably determined at the wage rate in t-1, but that's not central to
>the point here) to yield
>(2)      	{[p(t)I -p(t-1)A -wL]X / wLX}
>              r =     ________________________ ,
>                       {[p(t-1)A/wLX }
>that is, the average rate of surplus value divided by the average
>composition of capital.  Note that no direct reference to wage or profit
>shares or capital productivity (Duncan's preferred theoretical categories)
>is made, and you still have to know old and new prices.

I don't get this. You are saying r=s/v divided by c/v; that would 
mean that r=s/c but for Marx r=s/c+v.

What happened to the v?

   By the way, I think Marx was perfectly justified in holding that 
the transforming of the inputs would not change the magnitude of c+v; 
so his macro determination of the profit rate as s/c+v is completed 
in the second tableau despite the inputs not being transformed.

As far as I am concerned, that there is no reference to capital 
productivity in Marx's determination of r is a mark in his favor.

>....Unless, of course, it can somehow be argued that specifically *labor
>value-theoretic* analysis uniquely generates statements about trends in
>profit shares and capital productivity (which I dispute), *and* that these
>predictions are determinate *even in the face of the input/output price
>divergences you've introduced**--which I also seriously doubt, but I'm open
>to a proof.

Again, I have no idea what you are talking about. How would a labor 
theory of the source of new value in any way make predictions 
about--let alone allow for the existence of--the productivity of 
capital? This must be a fetishistically short handed way of speaking.

>Put more generally, there are plausible theoretical bases for eliminating
>the analytical indeterminacy you highlight, but these bases are necessarily
>alien to a labor theory of value, so if this issue matters, I think it
>supports my critique rather than injuring it.

I am sure this is my fault, but I don't follow. Marx's labor theory 
of value is a theory of the tendency towards permanent reduction in 
unit values, i.e. that is, the inverse movement in the mass of use 
values and unit value.

Any attempt to formalize it must thus necessarily allow for time 
subscripts. Marx obviously sees the domain of capitalist dynamics as 
ordered. That is, it is obvious that Marx sees not only a sequential 
order in capitalist dynamics but that sequential order as temporal 
(not merely logical) and even more as temporally *directed*.

In your language, not only does one particular unit input requirement 
matrix necessarily follow upon another in time; each successive 
matrix should tend to represent greater productivity or decreased 
unit values.

When a domain is sequentially ordered and even has clear temporal 
direction, its order can obvioulsy only be shown if all the variables 
are time subscripted.

So whatever your argument with Duncan, what I am saying, following 
Carchedi, is that as long as we do this--temporally subscript the 
variables, treat Marx's transformation tableau as one period in a 
temporally ordered sequence--the transformation problem disappears 
and Marx has a perfectly logical value theoretic hypothesis of how 
the average rate of profit is determined, even if the neo Ricardians 
do too.

It's only the right to test Marx's theory against reality that I am 
interested in wresting.

Sorry for the amateurish reply.

All the best, Rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Oct 31 2000 - 00:00:09 EST