[OPE-L:4471] Who are the Neo-Ricardians?

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Mon Nov 06 2000 - 16:32:55 EST

re 4465

>Rakesh wrote in [OPE-L:4464]:
>>  Though a neo Ricardian, Allin does not understand this basic
>>  difference between determination and resolution in Marx.
>How are you using this expression "Neo-Ricardian" here?  I suspect 
>that Allin would not agree that he is a "Neo-Ricardian", i.e. that 
>he is an advocate of a "surplus approach" perspective.


I do not want my distinction between determination and resolution to 
get lost, so I am willing to drop the expression.

I meant by neo Ricardian here only to call up Ricardo's critique of 
Smith's adding up theory of value, which Marx takes over in TSV.  So 
cost price and surplus value are not added up to arrive at total 
value (C) but rather total value (C) is resolved into cost price (k) 
and surplus value (s) which are inversely related. This is done at 
the very beginning of vol 3.


(1)C => k + s, then

(2)k+a= C - (s-a)

The formula is not

(3) k + s => C,

Which Marx calls an irrational expression in TSVII

so it does not necessarily follow that

(4) (k + a) + s => C + a

Which is the B-S-Cottrell transformation result.

"Yet the category of cost price has nothing to do with the formation 
of commodity value...Our investigation will show, however, that cost 
price does none the less, in the economy of capital, present the 
false semblance of an actual category of value production." (Capital 
3, p. 119) [Note Alejandro]

Since the value of the output remained a fixed magnitude, they should 
have arrived at the following formula in Ricardian and Marxian terms.

(5) C= (k + a) + (s - a)

Of course there could be more labor objectified in the means of 
production which allows for more surplus labor to be absorbed from 
live labor. Then you  could get

(6) C + a = [(k + .xa) + (s + [1 - .x]a)]

On to other matters,

  Of course Allin has also defended a less roundabout or direct labor 
theory of value, which seems self consciously to be Ricardian in 
inspiration. He has even said that such a strategy seems preferrable 
given the putative logical defects in Marx's theory that the law of 
value asserts itself in the form of the average rate of profit.

There are no such defects.

It is a matter of the sociology of knowledge why Marx was ever put in 
simultaneous equations and thought to have suffered from a 
transformation problem. In that sociology the tremendously 
destructive role of Marxist economists should be highlighted, just as 
in history of Communism the destruction wrought by Bolshevism should 
get pride of place. See Mattick Sr Marxism: Last Refuge of the 
Bourgeoisie? (ME Sharpe, 1983)

All the best, Rakesh

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