[OPE-L:4308] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Part Two of Volume III of Capital

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 15:40:30 EDT

A short comment about the maintainence of the so called two equalities after
the transforming of the inputs, the modifying of cost prices.

I argue that

1. after this modification total value should remain the same: 875 in 
the Bortkiewicz-Sweezy-Cottrell scheme

2. From this capitalists will subtract the money costs of what the 
output has cost them.

3. This money cost will change as a result of transforming the inputs 
(which again in a sequential process cannot be  transformed into the 
same unit prices of production as the outputs, the devasting logical 
lapse which has created the whole transformation debate).

4. Less or more value will thus be left as surplus value to distributed over
  the branches in terms of r

But this does not undermine the equality of total surplus value with 
the sum of the branch profits.

It's the macro meaning of this equality which has to be understood. 
It's not a relation of equaity but determination.

Marx's argument is that total surplus value sets the limit to what 
the sum of branch profits can be (see Mattick, 1983)

If after the modifying of the inputs, less or more surplus value is 
left, this this mass, whatever it is, still sets the limit to the sum 
of branch profits.

In my exchange with Allin, after the modification of the cost prices 
due to the inputs selling above their value, total surplus value is 
lessened from what it had been in the unmodified scheme (182, instead 
of 200), but this 182 still determines what the branch profits add up 
to in the modified scheme.  So the second equality is preserved.

I understand this to be the macro element of Fred's interpretation 
with which I am in total agreement.

The  keeping of the second equality does not mean that surplus value 
is the same in the unmodified and modified scheme (I challenge anyone 
to present a single quote where Marx articulates such an invariance 
condition); it means that total surplus value determines the upward 
limit to sum of the branch profits. In that sense they have to be 

This so called second equality was turned into an invariance 
condition in a set of simultaneous equations which itself is foreign 
to Marx's dynamic approach. But it is no such thing. Marx never says 
that one will have the same magnitude of surplus value in the 
unmodified scheme as in the modified scheme. He says that this MACRO 
magnitude is prior to, and determinative, of the sum of branch 
profits.  This is only to underline that exploitation is first and 
foremost a
collective process by the capitalist class of the working class. It 
is a theoretical clarification of the highest order to which 
bourgeois economics, led by the so callled radicals in the 
profession, has responded with obfuscation and misinterpretation. 
This of course is nothing to be wondered at.

all the best, r

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