[OPE-L:5378] listing the counteracting factors to the LTGRPD

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Sun Apr 22 2001 - 08:43:37 EDT

As everyone on OPE-L knows, Marx lists the 
"counteracting factors" to the law of the tendency 
for the general rate of profit to decline (LTGRPD)
in Volume 3, Ch. 14.  Or does he?  Well ...not 

What he instead does is identify and very briefly
discuss the 6 "most general" of these factors
(i.e. 1. more intense exploitation of labour; 
2. reduction of wages below their value; 
3. cheapening of the elements of constant capital;
4. the relative surplus population; 5. foreign trade;
6. the increase in share capital). Some of these
counteracting factors are discussed *very*
briefly indeed -- especially #2 (in which Marx
recognizes that it is "one of the most important 
factors in stemming the tendency for the rate
of profit to fall" but that "it has nothing to do
with the general analysis of capital, but has its
place in an account of competition, which is not
dealt with in this work").

So what are the *other* counteracting factors to
the LTGRPD? 

These *other* counteracting factors would include:

a) those factors that existed in Marx's time but
which he did not consider to be the "most general"
of those factors (NB: he thereby is *not* asserting
that the unlisted counteracting factors are "minor"
or contingent -- rather, only that he did not consider
them to be the "most general"). What are they?

b) counteracting factors that have become apparent 
only with the further historical development of
capitalism since Marx's time. E.g. are there any
unlisted counteracting factors to the LTGRPD
caused by imperialism?; has state policy since
the 1930s made apparent any unlisted counteracting
factors?; has the change in competition and firm
behavior associated with the development of 
oligopolistic markets exhibited any other
counteracting factors?; has the change in banking,
credit and financial policy after the 1930s shown
the existence of other counteracting factors?; etc.

* What, then, are the "missing" counteracting
    factors to the LTGRPD?

A related FURTHER (extra credit) question is: 
are there any "reinforcing factors" to the LTGRPD 
that were not discussed by Marx?  I.e. are there
any tendencies which help to bring about the 
tendencial decline in the general rate of profit
that were either not considered sufficiently 
"general" to be discussed by Marx in _Capital_ 
or have only manifested  themselves in "late
capitalism" (or substitute "imperialism" or 
whatever word you prefer to describe contemporary

In solidarity, Jerry 

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