[OPE-L:4474] Re: adding up theories of price

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Tue Nov 07 2000 - 04:23:13 EST

I am still waiting for ONE QUOTE from Allin in which Marx says that 
surplus value is total value minus the value of the inputs so that if 
the price of the latter changes, surplus value itself remains 

He will not find that quote because Marx resolves total value into k 
+ s, which vary inversely.

As support for my thesis that the mass of surplus value should not be 
held invariant as we transform the inputs and modify cost prices 
(upward in our examples), consider Marx in TSVII:

"The quantity of labour required for the production of a commodity, 
and contained in it, determines its value, which is thus a *given* 
factor, a *definite amount*. This amount is divided between wage 
labourer and capitalist. (Ricardo, like Adam Smith, does not take 
constant capital into account here.) It is obvious that the share of 
one can only rise or fall in proportion to the fall or rise of the 
share of the other...Since the value of the commodities is determined 
by the quantity of labour contained in them, and since wages and 
surplus value (profit) are only *shares*, proportions in which two 
clases of producers share the value of the commodity between 
themselves, it is clear that a rise or fall in wages, although it is 
determines the rate of surplus value (profit) does not affect the 
value of the commodity or the price (as the monetary expression of 
the value of the commodity). The proportion in which a whole neither 
larger nor smaller. It is therefore an erroneous preconception to 
assume that a *rise in wages raises the prices of commodities*; it 
only makes profit (surplus value) fall." TSV II, p. 417-8

  Marx clearly thought that if there is a change in the cost to the 
capitalist for the total commodity output whose value remains a fixed 
magnitude (as it does throughout the transformation exercise), then 
there would be an equal decrease in surplus value (profit).

At any rate, it is certainly surprising that instead of allowing for 
the rise in cost price to yield a compensating decline in surplus 
value, Marxists have thought it best to stand by this evident student 
of Ricardo in allowing a rise in the cost of paid (direct and 
indirect) labor upon transformation of the inputs to lead to a rise 
in prices. This is clearly ruled out by Marx on the grounds Ricardo 
provides in his critique of Smith.

Yours, Rakesh

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