[OPE-L:5435] Re: Re: commodity capital on the market and the costs of circulation

From: glevy@pratt.edu
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 12:35:05 EDT

Re Allin's [5433]:

> I believe you're muddling levels of abstraction.  Surely constant
> capital and variable capital are jointly exhaustive categories.  
> If "commodity capital on the market" is not variable capital (and 
> surely  it's not) then it's constant.

Let's consider this from a temporal perspective using the 
conceptual device of a period of production. At the end of any
period of production, there are commodities which are offered for
sale on the market. This inventory of unsold commodities
does not represent c or v but _only_ commodity capital. If and
when there is exchange, _then_ the owners of the commodity capital
receive money-capital with which they can _then_ purchase c +
v  to begin the _next_ period of production.  If one views 
a circuit of capital and the different moments in M - C - M'
as an instantaneous and continuous process, then the above is
not obvious. When one views it at various moments of time in the
circuit that includes production and circulation time, then one
can observe the transFORMation of capital, i.e. how capital can 
assume diffewrent forms at different moments in this process.

So, c and v are only exhaustive categories if we assume that 
circulation time equals zero. If it takes time, then a portion
of the total capital assumes the form of commodity capital.
After sale, then depending on the type of commodity, it can
then become for the buyer either means of consumption or means
of production. If the latter, then it can _then_ take the form
of constant capital. For the seller, the commodity capital 
becomes money and hence profit and the surplus value can _then_ 
be either unproductively consumed or used as money-capital to purchase c and v on the market. 

In solidarity, Jerry 

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