[OPE-L:4688] Re: SV and the F of D

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Tue Dec 12 2000 - 21:29:24 EST

First, Gil, again Marx basically assumes that all labor is carried 
out by wage workers--he accomodates himself to this theoretically as 
entrepreneurs are confined to it practically in a developed 
capitalist society.  We are on the labor island:  there are no 
independent commodity producers, no merchants and no creditors--so I 
truly don't understand your fascination with these examples.  In 
Marx's own case he is able to show that workers would have to 
alienate labor power rather than their time in exchange if dM is to 
result from the circuit of capital.

>Imagine an exchange economy of A's and B's in which the A's are all small
>commodity producers--thus non-capitalists-- and the B's are all merchant
>capitalists.  Each merchant capitalist buys commodities from some producers
>(M-C)  and sells them to others at a profit (C-M', completing the circuit
>of capital).  If this is done by the merchant capitalists as a class we
>have surplus value in the sense you attribute to Marx:  M-C-M', with M'
>greater than M, as an aggregate category descriptive of the entire class.
>Of course, for the class of small commodity producers taken as a whole, we
>have an aggregate circuit C-M-C', with the value content of C' less than
>that of C, *but this is utterly irrelevant from the standpoint of Marx's
>definition, as you have specified it.*  All we need to know is that M' > M
>in the circuit of *capital*.

No new value has been created in the circulation of *commodities*. We 
begin at t0 and end at t+1. At t+1 the merchants have M' and the 
independent commodity producers have C'.

You misunderstand Marx's aggregate definition. If we are going to 
judge whether surplus value has been produced in the circulation of 
commodities, the C and C' would have to be assigned  monetary values 
so we can aggregate what we have have at the beginning and the end of 
the circuit for comparative purposes.  So at t + 1 we have 
*aggregate* M'  and at t0 we had *aggregate* M.

Of course at t + 1, the value difference between M' and M for the 
merchants is cancelled out by the value difference of C' minus C for 
the independent commodity producers.  There is no surplus value in 
the aggregate from circulation--that is, aggregate M' minus aggregate 
M is zero:  there has only been a redistribution of value in exchange.

>  Do you agree that, given your reading of Marx's Ch. 4
>definition of surplus value, Marx's Ch. 5 rejection of redistribution of
>existing value as a basis of surplus value is a non sequitur based on a
>fallacy of division?


Yours, Rakesh

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