[OPE-L:4514] Re: "Don't go like that" (Was "What is Volume I about?")

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Mon Nov 13 2000 - 02:03:17 EST

re 4511.

Andrew, thank you greatly for taking the time to understand what I am 
saying. I am happily in your debt.

>A reply to OPE-L 4506.
>: constant capital has different meanings in the determination and
>: resolution of value.
>: In the determination of value, constant capital is the value of the
>: means of production as they are consumed and reappear in the final
>: product.
>In  whose theory?  Yours?  Or Marx's?  If the latter, where is your
>evidence?  I say there isn't any.

Capital I (Vintage), p. 318 (bottom half of the page), p. 294 (last paragraph).

We have to get the formula for value determination straight

The labor value of any commodity is determined by the value of the 
means of production consumed in it and the newly produced value.

Moreover, what is your formula for the determination of value?

money laid out as constant and variable capital + surplus value = C?

So any change in the money sum invested results in rising value or 
price (as monetarily expressed)?

Then what of Ricardo's critique of Smith? Simply because wages--the 
money laid out as variable capital--rise does not mean the value 
objectified in the product and thus its price rise. If it did, class 
conflict would be attenuated. See TSV, pp. 417-8

Price is not determined by adding up money wages, profit and rent.

Rather the value of the product as determined by indirect and direct 
labor objectified therein is a prior and given magnitude which is 
then resolved into cost price (the replacment money costs of the used 
up c and v) and surplus value which vary inversely.

>: That total value or price (which is its monetary expression) is then
>: broken down into or resolved into cost price (k) plus surplus value
>: (s).
>Yes, but in Marx's own theory, it is broken down in a very precise way.
>Specifically, the already determined c and v have the form of appearance
>k.  The magnitude of k DOES NOT differ from the magnitude of c + v.  See
>Part 1 of Vol. III.
>Yet in Marx's theory, k does differ, as you have acknowledged, from the
>values of the used-up means of production and subsistence.
>It therefore follows that c is not -- IS NOT -- the value of the used-up
>means of production.  Q.E.D.

Non responsive.

Assume monetary expression of labor value is $1. capitalist uses up 
$100 of machinery, output embodies 100 hours of labor value as 
transferred from the means of production.

Late in his presentation, Marx now allows for the transformation of 
the inputs. Machinery may sell above value, say used up machinery is 
now $110. The value of the means of production as consumed in and 
transferred to the final product remains however 100 labor hours. 
This is exactly what Marx is saying on Capital 3, p. 309.

However, the replacement cost (price) of constant capital is now 
$110. Cost price is now modified in one direction, surplus value in 
the other direction.

However, since the indirect and direct labor value objectified in the 
output does not change, total value remains the same and so does 
total price, assuming a constant monetary expression of value.

>: If we resolve more or less of total value or price into cost price
>: upon the transformation of the inputs, we simply have to resolve more
>: or less of total value or price into surplus value.
>This is a clever way of saying that total profit differs from total

I am saying that total surplus value itself is modified in the 
opposite direction of cost price.

>  It also implies that the extraction of surplus-labor in
>capitalist production is not the sole source of profit (or

Surplus labor is the sole source of profit, but not its only determinant.

Commodity value is determined by value of used up means of production 
plus newly produced value.

The resultant commodity output value contains an excess value over 
its cost price.

Why? Simply because the value and price of labor power remains less 
than the labor its use objectifies in the final product. This is the 
source of the excess value.

However, how that total value is resolved into cost price and surplus 
value then does depend on distributional factors.

If wages rise, profits fall; prices do not rise as Smith had it. This 
is the foundation stone of Marx's whole theory of surplus value and 
class conflict.

>  The magnitude of aggregate surplus-value clearly becomes
>dependent on how it is distributed.

Of course.

>  E.g., if, to achieve competitive
>equalization of the profit rate, k comes to differ from the values of the
>material elements of capital, so will s.  Ergo, s is determined by
>competition -- in circulation, not production.

That there can be s at all depends on the objectification of labor in 
the final product.

However that total value is resolved into k and s,  s still remains 
entirely derived from unpaid labor. s is the excess value of a 
commodity over k (its cost price), which is paid direct and indirect 

And--to repeat myself--there is s left after the cost price has been 
covered only because labor has produced new value in excess of cost 
price, including its own wage price as the money sum needed to buy 
the goods needed for labor reproduction.

The question of the origins of this excess value is already solved in 
terms of the duality of labor power. Newly produced value is always 
greater than the value and price of labor power because its use 
objectifies more labor than represented in that price or value of 
labor power.

I have made clear that in both my proposed iteration and set of 
transformation equations, the mass of surplus value is determined 
entirely as unpaid labor.

I see no threat to an exploitation theory of excess or surplus value 
in the way I have proposed.

>Assume that, at time t, the value of the used-up means of production is
>10 and that their price is 30.  Assume that the value added by living
>labor between times t and t+1 is 15, and that v = 0.  The surplus-value
>produced between t and t+1 should then equal 15 as well.  That's what it
>equals in Marx's theory.  But in your interpretation, Rakesh,
>surplus-value will equal 10 + 15 - 30 = -5.   Workers, even though they
>live on air and work till they drop, have somehow exploited the
>capitalists.  Go figure.

The value of the means of production is determined under the social 
conditions existing at any time. As Marx puts it, the value of a 
commodity is the quantity of labor contained in it, bu this quantity 
is itself socially determined.

The mp to be used may have sold at t-3 at 10 for the quantity to be 
used up at t. But if the price for that quantity is now 30, then its 
value will be higher. I won't say 30 because the price of 30 includes 
some price-value discrepancy. But one can assume that at such a 
higher price, the value of the means of production are also now 
higher. It is that "current" value which the means of production will 
now transfer to the commodity output.

>You are creating internal inconsistency after internal inconsistency, all
>in order to hold onto the physicalist dogma that c and v are the values
>of capital's material elements.

I am not a physicalist. I am holding fast to a (indirect and direct) 
labor theory of value determination.

>A man has his arm wrapped behind his head.  He tells his doctor, "Doc, it
>hurts when I go like this."  The doctor replies, "Don't go like that."
>That is my advice to you as well.

What I am saying is surely not that difficult to understand.

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