[OPE-L:5344] Re: value = K + S

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Sun Apr 15 2001 - 16:39:19 EDT

Hi Rakesh,

I am sorry that I could not respond sooner to your latest posts, but I
just don't have time for OPEL during the week these days (especially last
week, since my wife was out of town and I was single parenting).  
Thanks for your patience.

We have been discussing Section 2 of Chapter 12 of Volume 3 (and related
passages), in which Marx explicitly stated, in algebraic form, that value
= K + S = K + P = price of production.  The most striking thing about this
equation is that K IS THE SAME for both value and price of production.

Rakesh replied in (5315) that the above equation does not express the
DETERMINATION of value, but only the RESOLUTION of value into these
components.  I showed in (5337) that the equation value = K + S is easily
derived from Marx's equations for the determination of value and
surplus-value; from which it follows that, if K is the same in the above
equation, then K is also the same for the determination of value and price
of production.  
Rakesh replied again in (5338) that the equation value = K + S APPLIES
ONLY TO THE TOTAL COMMODITY or to the average commodity, not to all
commodities.  I reminded Rakesh in (5339) of the earlier passages in
Chapter 9 of Volume 3, in which Marx explicitly stated (again in
equations) that K is the same for all commodities, not just the total
commodity or the average commodity.

Rakesh's latest reply in (5340 and 5341) argues that Marx stated the
equation value = K + S ONLY BEFORE he (Marx) pointed out that he had made
a mistake, i.e. that he have failed to transform the inputs "inversely".  

However, the passage we have been discussing is from Chapter 12.  The
passage in which Rakesh thinks that Marx admitted that he had made a
mistake is in Chapter 9, three chapters BEFORE Chapter 12.  So, even after
Marx "admitted his error" (in Rakesh's view), Marx continued to state that
value = K + S.  

Indeed, in the paragraph just before the one in Chapter 12 in which he
stated again that S = value - K, from which it follows that value = K + S,
Marx emphasized that the cost price is equal to the price of production of
the inputs, not the value of the inputs.  And yet Marx went on to state in
the next paragraph that value = K + S.  Following from the preceeding
paragraph, the K in this equation must be equal to the price of production
of the inputs, not to the values of the inputs. 

Furthermore, back in Chapter 9, in the continuation of the same paragraph
in which Marx acknowledged that K = the price of production of inputs
(pp. 264-65), Marx stated once again value = K + S.  Therefore, the
equation value = K + S continues to be valid even after it is recognized
that K = the price of production of inputs.

In his latest post, Rakesh also continues to argue that total value "can
be resolved into" K + S, but is not detemined by K + S.  To explore this
further, let's call the surplus-value into which value is resolved Sr.
Rakesh, are you arguing that this Sr is a different magnitude from
(i.e. is not equal to) the surplus-value that is determined in Volume 1 by
the difference between new-value and variable capital?  If so, why do you
think these two surplus-values are not equal?  And what textual evidence
is there for this interpretation?

On the other hand, if you think that Sr = S, then, since Marx stated that
Sr = P (total profit), then it follows that S = P, which is what I have
been arguing all along.  

Furthermore, since we agree that total price of production is equal to
total value, if S = P, then it follows that the cost price K must be the
same in the determination of both value and price of production.
I look forward to continued discussion.


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