[OPE-L:4447] Re: Re: two schemes?

From: Ajit Sinha (ajitsinha@lbsnaa.ernet.in)
Date: Sun Nov 05 2000 - 06:02:30 EST

Rakesh Narpat Bhandari wrote:

> Ajit,
> I am slowly coming to see how correct Fred, Alejandro and Andrew are
> that there is not a value and price scheme.


I know! You like baloney sandwiches.

> In what is being called your dual system approach, we supposedly know
> the input labor value of the means of production (c) and wage goods
> (v), and we also know from the original tableau not only the the
> indirect (c) but also the  direct labor time embodied (1 +s/v)v in
> the output whose total value can thus be resolved into cost price
> (c+v) + surplus value (s).
> c, v, s are all putatively expressions of quantities of labor value.
> However, even Allin agrees that c and v are not in themselves quanta of
> labor value. It is clear that they are not; everything is given a
> monetary expression. If they were labor values, Marx would not have
> called them cost price. c and v are indeed the money sums invested as
> constant and variable
> capital.


I have a feeling that you have never studied either economics or mathematics as a
student, and that's why you don't understand simple arguments. As long as the
assumption that relative prices of commodities are proportional to their direct and
indirect labor time units, which is what Marx explicitly assumes till the
transformation problem is broached, it does not matter whether the value numbers
are given in labor units or the units of any commodity taken as the money commodity
(By the way, if you have read Marx then you would know that his money is a
commodity and not your green dollars--so your earlier example simply cannot be a
faithful representation of Marx anyway). But once it is admitted that relative
prices are not proportional to direct and indirect labor time units, then the
question of the measuring rod and the condition of its stability becomes a serious
theoretical problem. You, and your friends, need to understand this fundamental
point before taking any further step.

> There is nothing you or I can do about that. Fred is correct.


If I were Fred, I'll be very worried that you find him "correct". In anycase, I
have more than amply proven on this list only that Fred's interpretation is a
logical mumbo jumbo. As i said, you like baloney sandwiches, and I definitely
cannot do anything about that--that's your taste, and we have to take it as

> Now Allin argues that these monetary sums are just shorthand for quanta of
> labor value.
> But of course we cannot know how much labor quanta unless we know the value
> of money.
> Marx has told us that he has fixed the value of money  "Firstly *the
> value of money*. THIS WE CAN TAKE AS CONSTANT THROUGHOUT." (capital
> 3, p. 142 vintage; capitals mine).


Why do you have to prove to the world time and time again that you are a none
serious scholar? The quotation is from chapter 3, where the assumption that
relative prices are proportional to labor-values are throughout maintained--so the
above assumption, and mind you this is taken explicitly as an assumption, is
absolutely consistent with Allin and my position. The relevant problem for our case
only begins in chapter 9. As a matter of fact, this chapter is only concerned with
showing some comparative static relationships between the rate of profit and the
rate of surplus value. For the arguments in this chapter, not only the value of
money is held to be constant but also turnover time, productivity of labor, length
of the working day, intensity of labor, and wages, etc. are also held constant. So
if we go by your way of reasoning, then not only we will have to rule out your
argument against Allin that technology, that is productivity of labor, keeps
changing during the transformation process will have to be rejected tout court but
also that many of Marx's theoretical work relating to changes in technology, length
of the working day, intensity of work, wages, etc. will have to be expunged, since
according to you they all must be taken as constant in all circumstances in Marx's

> Say then $1=1/2 labor hour
> That is,  M (value of money)=1/2 hour; the monetary expression of an
> hour of labor (1/M) is thus $2.
> For the purposes of Marx's investigation it does not matter what M
> is; only that it remain fixed and constant. I will show that.


It simply cannot remain fixed and constant once you move from labor-value price
proportionality to their none proportionality. This is a theoretical problem
needing a solution, and the core of the transformation problem. You don't solve a
problem by assuming that it does not exist. Just like you cannot open a can by
assuming that you have a can opener. Try opening a can with an assumed can opener,
and you will know what I'm talking about. Cheers, ajit sinha

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