[OPE-L:4415] Re: what is Volume 1 about?

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Fri Nov 03 2000 - 00:42:36 EST

re 4414

>I would like to raise again the issue of what Volume 1 is about - whether
>labor-values only or money-quantities determined by labor-values

Fred, this is similar to my debate with Allin. My point is that in 
vol 3, Marx  defines surplus value as total value minus cost prices. 
So if the cost prices are to be modified, then the sum of surplus 
value will change as well.

Allin's textually unsupported interpretation is that Marx defines 
surplus value as total value minus the value of the inputs, so if the 
inputs are transformed into prices of production and cost prices 
thereby modified, the sum of surplus value should remain invariant.

This simple definitional difference leads to two sets of input 
transformation equations. Mine however can be solved; Allin's can't; 
hence, his belief in the transformation problem.

It comes down to the definition of surplus value; so far all textual 
evidence is on my side and none on Allin's

To see this, begin again with Allin's updating of Bortkiewicz and Sweezy:

The initial value table:

	  c	  v	  s     value
    I  225.00   90.00   60.00   375.00
   II  100.00  120.00   80.00   300.00
  III   50.00   90.00   60.00   200.00
Tot.  375.00  300.00  200.00   875.00

Marx's first-step transformation takes the given total s
and distributes it in proportion to (c+v).  Thus:

	  c	  v    profit   price   pvratio
    I  225.00   90.00   93.33   408.33   1.0889
   II  100.00  120.00   65.19   285.19   0.9506
  III   50.00   90.00   41.48   181.48   0.9074
Tot.  375.00  300.00  200.00   875.00   1.0000

I propose these input transformation equations in which total 
value/price is invariant from the original tableau (equation 5) and 
the sum of surplus value equals (determines) the sum of profits 
(equation 4).

(1) 225x+90y+r(225x+90y)=225x+100x+50x
(2) 100x+120y+r(100x+120y)=90y+120y+90y
(3) 50x+90y+r(50x+90y)=r(225x+90y)+r(100x+120y)+r(50x+90y)
(4) 875-(225x+100x+50x+90y+120y+90y)=r(225x+90y)+r(100x+90y)+r(50x+90y)
(5) 875=375x+300y+r(225x+90y)+r(100x+90y)+r(50x+90y)

Allin proposes that the transformation should keep the mass of 
surplus value invariant even as cost prices are modified :

(6) 225x+90y+r(225x+90y)=225x+100x+50x
(7) 100x+120y+r(100x+120y)=90y+120y+90y
(8) 50x+90y+r(50x+90y)=800-375-300
(9) 875-375-300=r(225x+90y)+r(100x+90y)+r(50x+90y)

My set of equations has a determinate solution for x,y and r; Allin's 
doesn't--hence, his belief in the transformation problem.

Though both the couplet 3&8 and 4&9 differ, both the divergences 
derive from this single definitional issue.

My transformation system of equations assumes Marx's definition of 
surplus value as total value minus cost price; Allin defines surplus 
value once and for all as total value minus the value of the means of 
production and wage goods themselves (a definition which Marx never 
ONCE uses).

I transform the inputs while maintaining both equalities: total 
value=total price (equation 5) and mass of surplus value=sum of 
profits (equation 4). Allin's equations says this is impossible (save 
of course in freak cases).

The putative fatal logical defect comes from insisting on a non 
existent definition of surplus value and condemning an entire theory 
as fatally logically flawed due to a refusal to use its own 

All the best, Rakesh

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