[OPE-L:4416] Re: what is Volume 1 about?

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Fri Nov 03 2000 - 01:30:07 EST

>Medio's presentation is perhaps the clearest expression of this
>interpretation that "Volume 1 is about labor-values only".  He explicitly
>calls his system of equations (2) the "value system".  The variables
>determined in his "value system" are the labor-values of individual
>commodities and the rate of surplus-value (as a ratio of
>labor-values).  Money and prices do not appear in the "value
>system" equations at all.  (Medio's article appears in Hunt and Schwartz
>(eds.), A Critique of Economic Theory.)

Yes, the "inputs" in the transformation tableaux are in money terms; 
they have money prices--that's why they are called the costPRICE--but 
the money prices which they have is determined on the assumption that 
means of production and wage goods sold at their value.

They have the form of what Gouverneur calls direct prices. Marx does 
say unequivocally upon completion of his transformation tableau that 
the inputs could not have sold at prices which were determined on his 
own assumption that goods sold at value; rather they had to have been 
sold at prices of production. Now that he has derived the category he 
can say this.

Marx unequivocally says that the cost prices therefore have to be 
modified in ch 9. I do not see why you deny this. Marx does not say 
that the inputs should be transformed into the same unit prices of 
production as the outputs via the use of simultaneous equations or an 
iterative method. But this is a different issue. It simply does not 
follow that since the inputs are in the price form (you are right) 
that they are in the form of prices of production (this does not 

We do need to recognize the need to transform the inputs. We don't 
have to transform them into identical prices of production as the 
outputs. We can say that that no one period model will give us the 
data to determine the prices of production of the inputs.

But we should not deny that Marx himself did say that unless the cost 
prices are modified by allowing for the inputs to have sold at prices 
of production, rather than prices determined on the assumption of 
sale at value, we can go wrong.

We should also show that it is possible for the inputs to be 
transformed into the same form of prices of production as the outputs 
while the two equalities hold. That is, in a scheme in which both 
inputs and outputs do sell at prices of production,it should remain 
true that total value=total price and mass of surplus value=sum of 

All the best, Rakesh

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