[OPE-L:4569] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: transformation

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Thu Nov 23 2000 - 14:26:24 EST


You presented the B-S tableau and then carried out the iteration 
implicit in their set of transformation equations.

I also proposed a method of iteration based on another set of 
equations which were neither over nor underdetermined. I argued that 
in this iteration both equalities would be maintained.

You then replied that while the first equality was given by 
stipulation in my iteration, the second equality would not be 
maintained upon completion of the iteration.

You said that surplus value, defined as total value minus the value 
of the inputs, would not be equal to the sum of profits in the final 
modified scheme.

I then showed that your definition of surplus value could not be 
Marx's for it leads to an adding up theory of price. You have not 
denied that your definition does lead to an adding up theory of 
price!  In fact you simply ignored the latter half of a recent 
message in which I showed again that this does follow from your 
definition of surplus value.  Though you  propose no definition of 
surplus value, you still insist that the mass of surplus value does 
not equal the sum of profits as the transformation procedure is 
extended to the inputs.

I have shown that the definition of surplus value as total price 
minus cost price is textually supported (even in the passages which 
you cite), and is implied by Marx's acceptance of Ricardo's critique 
of Smith's adding up theory of price. You have not denied this either.

By this definition of surplus value, the second equality is 
maintained in the final modified equilibrium scheme of the iteration 
which I propose. Moreover, the second equality is given in the fourth 
of my equations (the sum of surplus value, properly defined as total 
price minus cost price, is given on the left side and the sum of 
branch profits is given on the right side); since (as it turns out) 
this set of equations is  neither over nor underdetermined, this 
transformation procedure can be solved while maintaining the second 

If you are going to continue to argue that I do not maintain the 
second equality, you have to provide an argument and textual support 
for the definition of surplus value implicit in your charge that in 
my final tableau the theorem that the mass of surplus value 
determines the sum of profits is not preserved. If you do not define 
the terms in the two theorems or equalities which must be preserved 
in the complete transformation, how can we possibly make progress
in the debate?

You have not even given evidence for the 100 year old dogma that Marx 
thought the sums of surplus values for the respective departments or 
branches would remain unchanged once the inputs were transformed as 
well, which of course is something Marx did not do.

  I have given you clear evidence (p. 309) where Marx  recognized that 
the relation between necessary and surplus labor or the rate of 
surplus value (and thus the sums of surplus values) would indeed be 
modified once wage goods were allowed to be sold above or below 
value. Why is this not evidence that the sum of surplus values is 
also an unknown, not an invariance condition, in the complete 

You of course have not denied that profit remains entirely derived 
from unpaid labor throughout the iteration which I propose. You have 
not denied that Marx's transformation algorithm (the nine steps which 
I specified) provides a determinate method of iteration by which a 
non obvious vector of equilibrium prices can indeed be generated 
while at the same time there remains positive profit, derived 
entirely from unpaid labor, since at no point in the iteration will 
total price be entirely resolved into cost price as it modified by 
the transformation of the inputs.

To someone as naive as me, this all seems to indicate that Marx's 
value theoretic transformation procedure is indeed logically sound 
even as it extended to the inputs.  To me it seems that high faluting 
algebra has become the weapon by which bourgeois economists have 
attempted to slay Marx or at least discourage students from taking up 
its research programme with bombastic claims that Marxian value 
theory is fatally logically flawed and unscientific. It is nothing to 
be wondered at that the accusations are made not by openly bourgeois 
academics but economists dressed in leftist clothing. Why would it be 
otherwise? When has it been otherwise?

Happy thanksgiving, Rakesh

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