[OPE-L:4207] Re: RE: Part Two of Volume III of Capital

From: Duncan K. Foley (foleyd@cepa.newschool.edu)
Date: Sat Oct 21 2000 - 17:39:50 EDT

So in what sense might you "go wrong"?

>Duncan writes [#4099]
>>  It seems to me that the temporalist claim has to rest
>>  on an indirect argument that it is consistent with some of the
>>  conclusions Marx drew (the conservation of total value, constant
>>  capital, and the profit rate in the movement from the embodied labor
>>  accounting to price accounting) rather than on direct evidence. The
>>  problem with trying to establish an interpretation through an
>>  indirect argument of this kind is that there might be some different
>>  interpretation that also preserves those conclusions.
>	This is a fair point in itself, but there don't seem to be many
>rivals for this distinction.
>	...
>>  "As the price of production of a commodity can diverge from its
>>  value, so the cost price of a commodity, in which the price of
>>  production of other commodities is involved can also stand above or
>>  below the portion of its total value that is formed by the value of
>>  the means of production going into it. It is necessary to bear in
>>  mind this modified significance of the cost price, and therefore to
>>  bear in mind too that if the cost price of a commodity is equated
>>  with the value of the means of production used up in producing it, it
>>  is always possible to go wrong."
>>  I find it very difficult to reconcile this kind of language with the
>>  idea that Marx made no distinction between the labor embodied in the
>>  constant capital and the money value of the constant capital at
>>  prices of production.
>	Marx's comment here seems to say no more than "be careful about
>which -- of cost price and value of means of production used up -- you
>identify as being the value of the inputs" (and by implication "choose the
>cost price", according to Fred and TSSers).
>	Julian

Duncan K. Foley
Leo Model Professor
Department of Economics
Graduate Faculty
New School University
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