[OPE-L:4541] reply to Fred (1)

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Mon Nov 20 2000 - 04:35:12 EST


I am going to give several shorter replies by breaking up your post up.

>2.  Rakesh, as I understand your interpretation, you determine P and S in
>a different way (in what seems to me to be the same as the
>"standard" interpretation of Marx):
>(4)	P   =   m L   =   m (Lp + Lc)    =   m Lp + m Lc  
>(5)	S   =   m ( Lc - Lms)
>where Lp is the labor-value of the means of production and Lms is the
>labor-value of the means of subsistence. 
>Do I understand you correctly?

Fred, not at all!

The value of the means of subsistence plays NO role in my or Marx's 
formula of value determination.

Commodity value is determined by the indirect and direct labor or 
past and current or dead and live labor embodied in the commodity, 
though the quantity of that labor is socially determined.

Wages are paid of course to allow the proletariat to purchase means 
of subsistence; these wages represent variable capital.  Due to the 
duality of labor power, the purchase of labor power allows the 
capitalist to have more labor objectified in the final product than 
is represented by either the value of the means of subsistence or the 
value of the money needed to purchase the means of subsistence.

It is this direct objectified labor which enters into the 
determination of commodity value along with the value of the used up 
means of production.

Again neither the value of the means of subsistence nor the value of 
the money needed to buy the means of subsistence (or means of 
production) plays *any role* in the determination of commodity value. 
I do not subscribe to the standard interpretation.

In my interpretation, what changes in volume 3 is not the strictly 
labor theoretic formula for the determination of value  but the 
determination of the money sums which have to be laid out as variable 
and constant capital. Once it is demonstrated--and only once it is 
demonstrated--that the means of production and subsistence could not 
have sold at value or prices proportional to value, then Marx notes 
the need for the money sums which have to be laid out as constant and 
variable capital  to be modified. That is, cost price has to be 

This will not change the total value of the product or its price 
(since Marx seems to be assuming throughout that the monetary 
expression of labor value is one)--the direct and indirect labor 
embodied in a commodity is not, and cannot be changed, by a mere 
change in the price of the means of production and means of 
subsistence. To claim otherwise is to be ensared in adding up theory 
of price.

The price transformation of the inputs from simple prices to prices 
of production can only change how that commodity value is resolved 
into cost price and surplus value.

You seem to think that this will change how surplus value was 
determined in volume one. I do not see this. Surplus value remains M' 
minus M. If M changes as a result of the modification of cost price 
consequent upon the transformation of the inputs, dM still remains as 
defined in volume one:  M' minus M.

yours, rb

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