[OPE-L:4691] Re: SV and the F of D

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Wed Dec 13 2000 - 01:37:47 EST

Gil, I just want to restate something I articulated perhaps three 
years ago to you.

>Thus when Marx says, on pp. 265-6 of Ch. 5, "The value of circulation has
>not increased by one iota; all that has changed is its distribution between
>A and B.  What appears on one side as a loss of value appears on the other
>side as surplus value; what appears on one side as a minus appears on the
>other side as a plus,"  that's necessarily true, BUT his conclusion that
>"..[t]he capitalist class of a given country, taken as a whole, cannot
>defraud itself" is an utter _non sequitur_, because it assumes without
>justification that *both* parties A and B in his example are capitalists.
>But this need not be the case.  The most obvious counterexample is that
>involving merchant capital:

However, Gil, your example shows that "the sum of values in 
circulation can clearly not be augmented by any change in their 
distribution, any more than a Jew can increase the quantity of 
precious metals in a country by selling a farthing from the time of 
Queen Anne for a guinea."

So you agree that the sum of value has not increased but argue that 
it is a non sequitur that mercant capital cannot expand even if the 
sum of values remains the same. You seem to be saying that M' minus M 
can be positive even if in the system as a whole V' minus V (that is 
surplus value) is zero. So Marx has not proven that profit depends on 
the production of surplus value.

But...Marx then tells you that he is explicitly leaving out 
merchant's and usurer's capital at this point.

He believes that if he first explains the origins of *surplus* value 
in the circuit of industrial capital (which will lead him to clarify 
that workers alienate labor power not labor time in exchange with 
industrial capitalists), he will then be able to show that merchants' 
capital and interest bearing capital are now derived from that 
surplus value or newly produced value in the circuit of industrial 
capital--not simply creamed from an unchanged sum of value in 
circulation.  That is, he clearly tells us that he intends to 
demonstrate that  the latter two forms of capital though historically 
primary are nonetheless now only  derivative forms of capital (this 
should be enough to do away with interpretations of Marx's Capital as 
a history of the forms of capital).  Given that the latter two have 
been falsely associated with  "Jews", Marx made perhaps the greatest 
theoretical blow ever made to the socialism of fools by demonstrating 
upon completion of his 3 volume analysis that these forms of capital 
are of secondary importance in the exploitation of the workers. The 
roots of exploitation are not in commerical cheating and bloody usury.

It seems to me that there is a straight line from incomprehension of 
Marx's analysis of the derivativeness of interest-bearing and 
merchant forms of capital to the revival of anti semitisms which led 
to the Holocaust.

  Marx explicitly asks for your patience as he lays out the laws of 
surplus value in the circuit of industrial capital. Why are you 
unwilling to give it to him?

>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*.

I wonder whether this describes the mafia controlled economy in Russia today.

Yours, Rakesh

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