[OPE-L:4526] Re: Re: Re: Re: "Don't go like that" (Was "What isVolume Iabout?")

From: Andrew_Kliman (Andrew_Kliman@email.msn.com)
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 11:28:07 EST

In reply to OPE-L 4522.

In OPE-L 4515, I demonstrated that, according to Rakesh's interpretation
of Marx, surplus-labor is not the sole source of profit (or
"surplus-value").  To avoid other problems of interpretation, assume that
the price and the value of labor-power are equal.  Marx's aggregate
surplus-value is the value added by living labor minus the price of
labor-power.  But Rakesh's aggregate "surplus-value" is Marx's
surplus-value PLUS the difference between the value and the price of
used-up means of production.

Moreover, "surplus-value" in Rakesh's interpretation can be positive when
Marx's is negative.  Marx's is negative when the price of labor-power
exceeds the value added by living labor.  If this is the case, Rakesh's
"surplus-value" will still be positive if the difference between the
value and the price of used-up means of production is greater than the
difference between the price of labor-power and the value added by living

I regard this as sufficient to reject Rakesh's interpretation.

Rakesh implicitly acknowledges that my demonstration is correct.  But he

: Now Andrew could ask me what happens if the means of production sold
: so above value that cost price would more than swallow up the total
: value as indirect and direct labor; my reply would be that such
: production would not be undertaken or bankruptcy would be filed.
: There would be no negative surplus value--there would simply be no
: surplus value and perhaps not sufficient value for the replacement of
: k either.

There are various problems here.

First, this reply for some reason is not a response to the demonstration
reiterated above, which I presented in the post to which Rakesh was
replying.  It is a response to an earlier demonstration.

Second, the case reiterated above -- POSITIVE "surplus-value" despite
workers receiving more than a equivalent of the labor-time they work --
occurs when the price of the means of production sell BELOW value.

Third, there is no issue of bankruptcy in this case.  Total price equals
total value, and the means of production can be replaced more cheaply
than if they had to be replaced at value since, again, they sell BELOW

Fourth, the "so above" point is not well taken; the price-value
difference of means of production may be extremely small.  E.g., the
aggregate price of labor-power minus the aggregate value added by living
labor may be 1 cent and the aggregate value of used-up means of
production may exceed their price by 2 cents.  Marx's surplus-value will
be -1 cent; Rakesh's will be +1 cent.

So again, since it hurts when you go like this, Rakesh, I recommend that
you don't go like that.  If you give up the attempt to identify the
constant capital-value transferred with the value of used-up means of
production, everything will work out just fine.

On another matter.  If the temporal single-system interpretation of the
quantitative dimension of Marx's value theory is an "adding up"
interpretation, then so is Rakesh's interpretation.  In BOTH
interpretations, the value of the product is equal to AND determined by
the sum of value transferred from used-up means of production plus the
value added by living labor.  In BOTH, two sums of value are added.  (But
this is not what is meant by an "adding up" theory of value.)

The only difference between the interpretations is that Rakesh adheres to
the dual-system notion that the sum of value transferred is determined by
the value of the means of production rather than the sum of value
currently needed to acquire them.  That is all.

Andrew Kliman

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