[OPE-L:4077] Revaluation

From: Alejandro Ramos (aramos@btl.net)
Date: Thu Oct 12 2000 - 20:32:24 EDT

Rakesh in #4075:

"While the total magnitude of new value added (NV) is determined by the
value of the means of production consumed in the commodity output, plus the
surplus value produced by workers, the s component of that total new value
is determined by substracting from total new value (NV) THE REPLACEMENT
COST of c and v. That cost however is determined at t+1. That is, the
denominator of the rate of profit is defined by the inputs c+v at t;  while
the numerator s is determined by substracting from new value added (NV) the
replacement costs of c+v at t+1."

I think this is Brody's and Morishima's position but hardly Marx's. It
seems to me that Marx's is interested in accounting the social expenditure
of human labor power necessary to (re)produce a commodity at a certain
point of time. This involves the reckoning of a *real* magnitude, i.e. the
expenditure of human labor time that society has actually *made* up to this

At the end of t, the "replacement cost" of c and v is not a real
expenditure of labor time; it may be a potential or future expenditure that
is not still carried out. If the process of value formation would be based
on the "replacement cost" of c and v, we would have a mere "virtual"
determination of value, not a real one. By the way, this is in line with
the well accepted idea that value is merely an "ideal" or "logical"
category put forward by Sombart and Bernstein, not an accounting category
which aim is to reckon the real  expenditure of human labor that society does.

The idea that Marx is focusing in *real expenditures* of social human
labor, not in "virtual" ones as the "replacement cost" approach suggests,
is clearly expressed in the following passage:

"All the labor contained in the yarn is *past labor*; and it is a matter of
no importance that the labor expended to produce its constituent elements
lies further back in the past than the labor expended on the final process,
the spinning. The former stands, as it were, in the plusperfect, the latter
in the perfect tense, but this does not matter." (Capital I, Penguin, 294;
emphasis added.)


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