[OPE-L:4653] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Questions

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@MAIL.WESLEYAN.EDU)
Date: Fri Dec 08 2000 - 19:15:27 EST

Hi Rakesh.  In response this passage from me,

>>May I infer, then, that in your reading, Marx's Ch. 5 rejection of the
>>possibility that surplus value results from the redistribution of existing
>>value constitutes an intended *inference* from his definition of surplus
>>value as the positive difference between M' and M, rather than as an
>>illustration of an aspect of the *definition* of surplus value?

you write

>No new value can be created in exchange. So a colony which sells 
>wares above value is paid back with the already extracted tribute. No 
>new value has been created by selling above value.  In this example, 
>Marx does not seem to be rejecting the possiblity that sv can result 
>from exchange as a matter of definition of surplus value. So you may 
>infer the former of your two possibilities.


> Now Roemer has shown the 
>possibility of what he defines as exploitation through commodity 
>exchange without a labor market, right? So the question becomes 
>whether surplus value has been produced in his example, right? Is 
>this what you are getting at?

For the moment, no--Roemer's argument is several steps ahead of us, at
least.  And Roemer has hardly been careful in demonstrating how his
representation corresponds with Marx's.  Right now I'm just focusing on
*Marx's* definition of surplus value, and whether it rules out
redistribution as a basis of surplus value by definition or by inference.
We've now cleared that up, at least as far as your reading goes.  One more
step, and I think I'll know the basic points where we might diverge.

>>And again: can we infer from Marx's analysis in Chapter 6 that capitalists
>>as a class must purchase labor power as a commodity in order to appropriate
>>surplus value?
>Sorry, I did not answer this the first time. As you know, I do think 
>plantation slavery and the putting out systems were important sources 
>of surplus value production in early capitalism. But I think Marx 
>confines himself theoretically only to a market in which labor power 
>is freely disposed. It allows him to focus on the nature of that 
>perplexing exchange between proletarian and capitalist.

So may I infer from this that in your reading, one *can't* conclude from
Ch. 6 that capitalists must hire labor power as a commodity in order to
appropriate surplus value, simply because Marx avoids the question entirely
by assuming it away?


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Dec 31 2000 - 00:00:04 EST