[OPE-L:4759] Re: On "capital scarcity" (reply to Paul C.)

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Thu Jan 11 2001 - 03:48:56 EST

Gil writes in 4752

>No, both are necessary, since as Marx recognizes in Ch. 25 of Volume I,
>workers may be propertyless and yet the rate of capital accumulation is so
>strong as to drive the rate of surplus value to zero.

As John E has pointed out many times, Marx here is assuming 
accumulation  on the basis of a constant OCC. But even here the rate 
of accumulation will slow down until the price of labor falls to a 
price corresponding with the need of capital for expansion.

>  To suggest otherwise
>is to say that it is *logically impossible* for the rate of accumulation to
>be so high as to drive the rate of surplus value to zero.  This strikes me
>as implausible.

Don't know what you mean by logically impossible. However, as soon as 
we have such a rise in labor's relative share due to a growing 
disproportion between the capital seeking labor power and the supply 
of labor, then the rate of accumulation slows since the stimulus of 
profits has been reduced. So yes the rate of surplus value can be 
driven to *zero* not because of rising wages but  because capital 
expansion will stop.

I suspect that there is a question of political strategy at stake. 
You will correct me if I am wrong. But you could be making the 
(revisionist) argument that there is no need for the collectivization 
of the means of production to eliminate exploitation; there need only 
be an elimination of the scarcity of capital. And this can be 
accomplished by the euthanasia of those rentiers whose "oversaving" 
forces the economy to operate below full employment which discourages 
investment so that the capital stock does not expand as fast as 
possible. As Catephores puts it, this then eternalizes capital 
scarcity and interest--a scarcity price for capital--is maintained as 
a source of income for rentiers.

Yours, Rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Jan 31 2001 - 00:00:03 EST