[OPE-L:4721] Re: Ricardo and Marx

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Tue Dec 19 2000 - 22:58:12 EST

re 4720

>Rakesh, I *think* I agree with most of your post but have doubts about the
>very begining when you write

Geert, I was quoting Grossmann here:

>>Because Ricardo's categories of value are the expression--if one
>>sided--of concrete reality, namely the valorization process, they are
>>taken over by Marx in their basic principles and developed further.
>>However, at the same time he modifies them by complementing their
>>exclusively abstract value character with the material aspect, and
>>elaborates their dual character.
>Ricardo describes a surplus labour process (naturalistic, material) -- even
>if superfical -- rather than a valorization process. Marx complements
>*this* material aspect with that of the abstract value-form (monetary).
>("Complement" is a somewhat defective term since since the form dominates
>the material content.)
>[With Ricardo the phenomenon of money is unproblematically "collated" onto
>his naturalism -- money does not really matter.]

Grossman argues here that in Ricardo's analysis, the material 
aspect--the qualitative content of the particular labor process  --is 
obscured in the abstract study of the moments of value as a process 
(the exchange of commodities; the expression of value in money; the 
circuits of capital: M-M'; M-C-M'; M-C-P-M'). Specific changes in the 
technical conditions of production however yield objective tendencies 
of capital;  the connection of the valorization process to the 
concrete and qualitatively unique labor process of *machinofacture* 
prepares the way for the the proletarianisation of the entire family, 
the threat of moral depreciation, incentives for overwork and 
overtime, the disciplining of the workers' mind, the generation of 
the industrial reserve army of labor, the fall in the rate of profit 
as variable capital is progressively transformed into the constant 
capital of new machinery,  the continuous revolutionisation of the 
labor process and thus the structure of society in the face of the 
fall in the profit rate. So Grossmann argued that Marx broke from 
Ricardo in the importance which he gave to the material form of labor 
process in the explanation of objective tendencies of capital. That 
is, Ricardo was not materialist enough as he did not attempt a 
thorough study of the concrete labor process though capital's 
objective tendencies can only understood as a consequence of how a 
particular and concrete labor process is articulated with the 
abstract valorization process.

Best, Rakesh

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