[OPE-L:4227] Re: Re: Re: Re: Logic and illogic in defending Marx

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Sun Oct 22 2000 - 17:06:03 EDT

>In reply to OPE-L 4223,
>Rakesh, my understanding is that, in Marx's theory, the cost-price is
>the sum of used-up constant capital and variable capital.  Thus the
>"the price of production will differ from the value, not only because p
>differs from s, but also because k diverges from the value of its
>(material) elements"
>implies that the used-up constant capital value diverges from the value
>of its (material) elements.

But what is transferred--some part of the value of the money used to 
purchase means of production or the value of those means themselves 
as consumed in the commodity output? I think Allin is correct that 
only the latter is consistent with the labor theory of value. 
Otherwise, why wouldn't anything with a P--say purchase of a 
waterfall as energy source--transfer value in accordance with the 
value of the money need to procure it?

>I also think that, in Marx's theory, the amount of value that is
>transferred to the product is the used-up constant capital value.  See,
>e.g., Vol. I, Ch. 8.

But as Paul Z and I both pointed out, p-v divergence is not allowed 
there. So the question we are debating could not then arise.

>Hence, the amount of value that is transferred to the product diverges
>from the value of the (material) elements of the constant capital.

Don't get the hence.

>Maybe a direct answer to your question "Why is not "the value of the
>means of production consumed", not [but???] their cost price, which
>determines the value transferred from the means of production by labor to
>the output?" may help.

Thanks for the correction. It is what I meant to ask.

>  If I understand the question, my answer is that
>cost price is a transformed form of the value of used-up constant capital
>(plus variable capital), and it is the value of used-up constant capital
>that is transferred to the product.

It seems plausible, but not consistent with the labor theory of value.
The trouble here is with the meanings of constant capital of course. 
It refers at once to the money spent to buy the means of production 
(element of cost price), the value of those means of production in 
terms of the socially necessary labor time to reproduce them, and the 
value transferred from them by labor to the commodity output. Of 
course constant is opposed to variable capital because unlike the 
latter its use does not vary (increase) value.

We obviously have to map out the different ways in which the term 
constant capital is being used.

Maybe then we'll be able to resolve this question?

>   The value of the used-up means of
>production is NOT what is transferred.

Of course I think it IS what is transferred. What are we to do?

All the best, Rakesh

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