[OPE-L:5262] Re: Re: Re: state and workers'ownership and (un)productive labor

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@mail.wesleyan.edu)
Date: Sun Mar 25 2001 - 15:27:25 EST

In response to this passage from me, 

>> But hey, why look there?  We need not look 
>> beyond Volume I, and Marx's
>> "formalistic" treatment of surplus value found 
>> there.  In Chapter 4 Marx
>> defines surplus value as the increment (M'-M) 
>> arising from the circuit of
>> capital M-C-M', so long as this increment is 
>> understood to correspond to
>> the "valorization" of the value originally advanced > with M.  

Jerry writes--

>I don't think that's how Marx *defines* surplus-
>value. Rather, that is the characteristic way in which
>surplus value appears to the individual capitalist.
>Thus, the increment of m that appears at the end
>of M - C - M' can be attributable to other factors
>than surplus value. E.g. buying low and selling high.

You left out the key qualifier, Jerry.   What you describe here isn't
valorization, as Marx indicates in Ch. 5, so it doesn't count as surplus
>One can not, thus, just look at whether there is 
>M'. One also has to look at whether there is
>employment of wage-labor by capital and whether
>there is surplus labor time and unpaid labor time.

I agree that surplus labor must be expended.  That's what Marx means by
"valorization".  But he never insists that the extraction of surplus labor
has to be based on the "employment of wage-labor by capital" *as a matter
of definition*.  *You* added that. I'd be interesting in knowing where you
get the impression that he says otherwise.

>Moreover, for the capitalist to get the M' then the
>commodity output must be sold and the value
>and surplus value thereby materialized 
>(i.e. actualized/realized)  in the form of money.

Of course.  That's where the M' comes from in the circuit M-C-M'.  This was
not a point of disagreement in the first place.

>> More generally, I'd argue against confusing the 
>> *definition* of surplus
>> value with the *economic conditions* under 
>> which surplus value is
>> understood to emerge.  
>I don't think they can be separated. 

Then what do you make of statements like this one by Marx (of which there
are multiple examples):

"In India, for example, the capital of the usurer advances raw materials or
tools or even both the immediate producer in the form of money.  The
exorbitant interest which it attracts, the interest which, irrespective of
its magnitude, it extorts from the primary producer, is just another name
for surplus-value." [Resultate, P. 1023 in Penguin edition of Capital,
Volume I]

>btw, are you in agreement with what Paul B 
>wrote in [5428] re whether worker-owned 
>firms produce surplus value?
>In solidarity, Jerry

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