[OPE-L:4439] Re: Re: what is Volume 1 about?

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Sat Nov 04 2000 - 01:25:49 EST

>On Fri, 3 Nov 2000, Fred B. Moseley wrote:
>>  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.
>>  Paul Z., Paul C., Allin, and other proponents of the "two system"
>>  interpretation:  is Medio's interpretation more or less what you
>>  have in mind by "Volume 1 is about labor-values only"?
>This is a bit of a "when did you stop beating your wife?" sort
>of question.  I agree with Medio insofar as I think you can
>derive commodity values and the rate of surplus value from
>direct labour coefficients and input-output coefficients, and
>that (in principle) prices play no part in this sort of
>But I don't think vol. 1 is "about labour values only": that
>would be an odd claim when Marx spends quite a lot of time
>talking about money.  I do think, however, that he assumes
>prices = values throughout vol. 1 (other than in a few contexts
>where he explicitly states otherwise) so that his use of pounds,
>shillings as so on can be taken a shorthand for quanta of labour

Let's grant that shorthand Allin for the sake of argument. Now in vol 
3 marx  wants to modify the cost price in terms of the inputs selling 
at prices of production, instead of their respective values.

Do you deny that of the total value produced, the surplus value that 
can actually be distributed in terms of a uniform rate of profit is 
the total value, less the modified cost prices rather than less the 
value of the inputs?

It seems obvious to me to matter not that there would have been more 
or less surplus value to distribute if the inputs had sold at value 
and cost prices had not been modified. Marx will continue to resolve 
the output commodity value into cost price + surplus value, not 
*value of the inputs themselves* + value added. Where does he once 
use the latter expression?

The definition of surplus value has to remain total value minus cost 
price or M' minus M (as Fred correctly says it has been since Vol 1), 
not total value minus the value of the inputs. Surplus value is by 
definition the excess of commodity value over the cost price or the 
capital advanced or the paid (direct and indirect) labor.

And once you admit that for Marx surplus value *IS*  value minus 
cost price...well the set of transformation equations which people 
have been working turn out to be all wrong.

Yours, Rakesh

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