[OPE-L:4565] Re: Re: Re: transformation

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Wed Nov 22 2000 - 14:48:49 EST

On Tue, 21 Nov 2000, Rakesh Narpat Bhandari wrote:

> The second equality states that the sum of surplus value
> determines the (maximum) sum of capitalists' profits.

This is a neologistic use of the term "equality".  It is quite
different from Marx: "the sum of the profits in all spheres of
production must equal the sum of the surplus-values".  Besides,
your use of "maximum" is unwarranted.  Are you being misled by
the fact that the sum of profit is less than the sum of surplus
value in the numerical example we've been looking at?  With
different assumptions regarding organic compositions, the
post-transformation sum of profits might just as well exceed the
pre-transformation surplus value.

> I argue that it is grossly antithetical to Marxian theory to
> hold the sum of surplus value or profit invariant in a
> complete transformation exercise in which total price is
> held constant while cost price is modified on the basis of
> the transformation of the inputs. Allin makes no contact
> with my argument.

OK, your "adding up" critique.  I think this is a red herring.
I'm quite willing to accept imposing total price = total value
on the transformation, at least for the sake of argument.  In
that case, as you say, the sum of profit will not remain
invariant if the sum of cost-prices changes in the
transformation.  That's precisely the Bortkiewicz/Sweezy point:
the sum of profit will not remain equal to the
pre-transformation surplus value.

(A problem will holding total price = total value is that it may
be inconsistent with the monetary side of the system, if, as in
Marx, money is a commodity with definite conditions of
production and also subject to profit-rate equalization.)

Allin Cottrell.

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