[OPE-L:4143] Re: Revaluation

From: Andrew_Kliman (Andrew_Kliman@email.msn.com)
Date: Tue Oct 17 2000 - 13:59:26 EDT

In reply to John's OPE-L 4101:

: Let's be clear here before moving on to the next set of questions.
: Are you saying the value of 5th machine in my example is not
: to the output?

Yes, that's what I'm saying.  Other firms, which don't overestimate their
needed capacity, will produce the same amount of output at lower cost
per-unit.  The value of the commodity is determined by the average
labor-time socially necessary to reproduce it.  Thus, if there are enough
of these lower-cost producers, they "set" the value of the commodity.
The labor expended on the 5th machine will have been wasted, not
formative of value.

: Now if the 5th machine is never used or
: becomes even useless due to a slump, it seems to me that its value must
: still be accounted for.

I agree, but "accounting for" it isn't the same thing as saying it is
formative of value.  It can be accounted for as a loss.

I still don't think you've answered one of my questions, namely "do you
agree or disagree that in Marx's theory, what allows the value of a means
of production to be preserved (by being transferred) is that it is used
in production."  To me, this is the crux of the matter -- the
specification of a *process* by which things happen.

It seems to me that once we have the concepts and processes clear, the
computation of profit rates is exceedingly simple.  Jumping ahead to a
discussion of profit rates without the conceptual clarification  just
creates additional problems.  If what you are trying to do, however, is
work backwards from intuitively "plausible" conclusions regarding profit
rates to the concept of value transfer needed to obtain these intuitively
"plausible" profit rates, all I can say is that I think this is indeed
aackwards.  There is no a reason why the implications of theory should
conform to a priori intuitions.  All theory would be superfluous in that
case.  To reject theoretical results because they don't conform to one's
intuitions is dogmatism.  I hope this isn't what you're trying to do.

Andrew Kliman

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