[OPE-L:5561] Re: Re: William of Ockam's Razor and Political Economy

From: Paul (clyder@gn.apc.org)
Date: Sun May 13 2001 - 18:09:42 EDT

On Sat, 12 May 2001, you wrote:
> The examples that you give above largely
> concern astronomy and physics.  In astronomy,
> some theorems can be proved though observation.
> Yet, in political economy we don't have unchanging
> regularities in nature that can be observed which
> then can be used to validate/invalidate a political-
> economic theorem. 

There are certain unchanging regularities, -
commodities are produced every year. Labour is
performed every year. Commodities are sold
every year. Wages are paid every year. These
provide us with the data to test general theorems
about the relationships between the prices that
commodities are sold for and for instance the 
wages that were paid to make them.

What is the difficulty with this?

> Suppose that output/working hour increases in
> that part of Department II that produces
> commodities that are solely consumed by
> capitalists while output/working hour remains
> constant in Dept I and the rest of Dept II.  Is
> that an example of relative surplus value where
> the labor content of the workers' means of
> subsistence can remain unchanged?

Under these cifcumstances the labour theory
of value predicts that the mass of surplus value
will be unchanged.

> In solidarity, Jerry
Paul Cockshott

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