# [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)
(10)875=375x+300y+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
definitions.

All the best, Rakesh
```

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