[OPE-L:5535] Re: the assumptions necessary for the two equalities to hold?

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Thu May 10 2001 - 04:44:14 EDT

Re Fred's [5529]:

> But I agree with (2) is very important too, and I > plan to write a paper
on  this subject this
> summer.  I would be happy to send you a copy.

I'd be happy to have a copy.
Perhaps we can discuss that paper, then, on
the list in the Fall?

> I do not think that the level of competition is
> entirely abstracted from
> in Volume 3.  Volume 3 is mainly about the
> distribution of surplus-value,
> i.e. the division of the total surplus-value into
> individual parts by
> means of competition among capitals (equal rates of profit, merchant
> profit, interest, and rent).  At the same time, I
> agree that there are
> other aspects of competition, besides those
> discussed in Volume 3, that
> are not included in Volume 3 (unequal rates of
>  profit, credit and stock  capital, etc.).

I agree with the above paragraph.

> Dussel suggests that there are two sublevels of
> competition - the more  abstract aspects of
> competition included in Volume 3 and the more > concrete  aspects not
included in Volume 3.

>From the perspective of trying to comprehend
Marx's  architectonic, this makes sense to me.
But,  this argument deserves more examination.
What is the source from Dussel that you are
referring to? (btw, do you know what his latest
interests and writings concern?)

> In this case, I think Marx's assumption of the
> prior determination of the
> total surplus-value (in Volume 1) continues to
> hold.  The monopoly
> industries would get more surplus-value, but the > competitive industries
> would get less.  The total surplus-value is not
> affected by this unequal
> distribution of surplus-value, just like the total
> surplus-value is not
> affected by the equal distribution of surplus-
> value.

Well ... let's look at the implications of the
*other* equality (sum of value = sum of POP)
on this matter.

In his 4/30/68 letter to Engels, Marx indicates
that "Those branches of production which
constitute natural *monopolies* are exempted
from this equalization process even if their rate
of profit is higher than the social rate."  I know
you are familiar with this quotation (for some
reason which remains unclear to me, this quote
has been frequently referred to by John E. Do
you understand why he keeps raising it?).

Yet,  the proposition that the sum of values
equals the sum of prices of production assumes
that we continue to operate in the POP
realm of 'capitalist communism'.  When looking
at monopolies, though, we are *not only referring
to the distribution of surplus value* . Is not
*VALUE*  itself created by workers in the
monopolized branches of production?  *If*
workers in those branches produce value, then
it can no longer be the case that the sum of
value = the sum of POP since that equality holds
*before*  the value created by the workers in
these branches have been taken into account.
This suggests that  this equality which holds at the level of abstraction
where there are POP might
not then also hold at a more concrete level of
analysis. Thus what is 'given' as an equality
at one level of analysis becomes uncertain at
at the more concrete level.

In solidarity, Jerry

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