[OPE-L:5563] Re: Re: William of Ockam's Razor and Political Economy

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Sun May 13 2001 - 21:21:17 EDT

Jerry quoted me:

> Paul also argues (and again I agree)  that this sort of predictive
> theory is needed to validate (or even make sense of) key points of
> Marxist theory, such as the theory of relative surplus value. The
> idea of relative surplus value is that capitalists pursue an
> increase in surplus value by reducing the labour content of the
> workers' means of subsistence.  (snip, JL)

And asked:

"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?"

I reply: It's not an example of relative surplus value.  An increase
in productivity of labour in Department III (that's what you mean?)
gives the capitalists a larger volume of use values to enjoy with
their profits, but it doesn't augment surplus value.


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