[OPE-L:5070] Re: On "Proof" --> or "Interpretation"

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sun Feb 25 2001 - 09:28:07 EST

"Drewk" <Andrew_Kliman@msn.com> in OPE-L:5065 said, on 02/25/01:

>I had written that the schema of reproduction prove that, "[a]s far as Ic
>is concerned, Department I buys from itself and sells to itself.  The
>extent of its
>demand for its own stuff is thus what sets the limit to how much of its
>own stuff it supplies to itself."

>Paul replied:  "Not sure if there is dispute here.  "Extent of its demand
>for its own stuff" is not addressed, just stated."

>If this means that the schema do not, and/or I do not, "close" the
>system, though some relation that expresses how the quantity of means of
>production demanded by Dept. I is determined, I agree. In fact, I think
>that open-endedness is a very important part of the dynamics of
>capitalist accumulation.  So the schema do not prove that the growth of
>Ic is without limits; far from it.  They prove (in my estimation) "only"
>that the extent of demand for consumer goods is not one of those limits.

How does this square with Marx saying 'constant capital is never produced
for its own sake but solely because more of it is needed in spheres of
production whose products go into individual consumption',  Volume 3 of
*Capital* (Lawrence and Wishart, p.305) and Lenin: 'In the final analysis,
therefore, productive consumption (the consumption of means of production)
is always bound up with individual consumption and is always dependent on
it.'  (Lenin, "A Note on the Question of Market Theory (Apropos the
Polemic of Messrs. Tugan-Baranovsky and Bulgakov)", p.59)?

Incidentally, Lenin's changing views on this issue is one theme of my
"Accumulation of Capital" paper (*R.P.E.*, Volume 18).

>Paul writes:

>"I think "more needs to be said".  Specifically, the issue of "demand for
>Ic comes from Dept. I itself, not consumers" is
>hanging, as
>there is no statement of what constitutes this "demand".  Does it comes
>from Heaven?  from building another railroad track next to the little
>railroad track right next to it?  what?"

>Ah, yes, if we want to understand what governs capital
>accumulation, and how, more definitely needs to be said.  We need to know
>inter alia how demand for Ic is determined, and the schema shed no light
>on this.   (How could they, since they permit both simple and expanded
>reproduction, the difference between which turns on the relative size of

And so we come to the importance of Luxemburg's *Accumulation of Capital*. 
She is addressing precisely the issue that Marx's scheme do not close the
issues; in fact, with its presumption that c/v in both Dept. I and II stay
the same under expanded reproduction, Marx, without being fully aware of
it, points to the gap in his own analysis.  If I were using your language
I would say Marx's illustrative scheme (either I or II) "proves" his own

But we really come to my point.  There is no "proof" here.  There is
INTERPRETATION, which I expect to be demonstrated as Andrew contests what
is said above.

>I meant that I don't see that anything more needs to be said in order "to
>prove that Ic is not limited by the extent of the market for consumer

See first reply above.

Paul Z.

Paul Zarembka, editor, RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY at 
******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

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