[OPE-L:6348] recent science a

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Thu Jan 17 2002 - 15:15:50 EST

re 6347

>Nonetheless, it was an unfortunate choice of words (an example of 'loaded
>terminology')  on Gil's part -- but, at least, he didn't refer to his
>perspective in-print or at a public meeting as being Copernican.

I don't see why it bothers you whether TSS'ers think of a non 
simultaneous conception of value as Copernican breakthrough. Big 
deal! They are excited about, thinks it leads to exciting results, 
opens up new questions, makes possible a new kind of dynamic (or 
truly dynamic) analysis.

  The TSS'ers do raise several interesting and tremendously exciting 
debates about what happens when we try to understand the expanded 
reproduction of capital without the assumption of input prices=output 
prices or constant values/prices--a PROVISIONAL assumption that is 
built into not only Marx's own vol II schemes but also Bauer's.
I am now looking at the debates between Foley, Laibman, Kliman and 
Freeman in Research of Political Economy, and I think we should all 
thank Paul Z for sponsoring this debate. It's interesting indeed, the 
discussion is rigorous and high level, the questions important. I say 
good on TSS for having sparked debate, opened up avenues of 
discussion that even if they are not new (they're in Marx) had been 
closed off or ignored.

Yet here's my criticism of the TSS tables that Alan F showed at 
Barcelona according to one of the RPE articles.

I am sending the criticism now though I haven't checked it yet. You 
will be interested to know that I attempt to show why the TSS 
demonstration fails because it makes the assumption of V=0; guess 
where I got that idea from?

So here is Alan F's table which shows how despite rising productivity 
and a rising material/simultaneous rate of profit, the rate of profit 
falls if the conception of value is temporal:

TABLE 3 (in terms of hrs of socially necessary
abstract labor time): TSS View

Period  C (hrs) L(hrs)  X(hrs) ROP [(X-C)/C]   

1       50      10      60      0.200
2       60      10      70      0.167
3       70      10      80      0.143
4       80      10      90      0.125

the value of the commodity grain decreases with time, i.e., 5,
4.67, 3.5, and 2.86 hr/kg.
Now I Rakesh say:

There seems to be a problem here. The purpose of means of production 
is to absorb surplus labor, but despite the growth in the volume of 
the means of production, no more labor and surplus labor are absorbed 
in each period.

But this runs contradictory to Marx for whom the growth in *use 
values* enables the greater production of *value* or absorption of 
surplus labor:

..the development of labour productivity contributes to an increase 
in the existing capital value, since it increases the mass and 
diversity of use values in which the same exchange value is 
represented, and which form the material substratum, the objective 
elements of this capital, the substantial objects of which constant 
capital consists directly and variable capital at least indirectly. 
The same capital and the same labour produce more things that can be 
transformed into capital, quite apart from the exchange value. These 
things can serve to absorb additional labour, and thus additional 
surplus labour also, and can in this way form additional capital. The 
mass of labour  that capital can command does not depend on the its 
value but rather on the mass of raw and ancillary materials, of 
machinery and elements of fixed capital, and of means of subsistence, 
out of which it is composed, whatever their value may be. SINCE THE 
NEWLY ADDED TO IT GROWS AS WELL.  Capital 3, p. 356-7. vintage

The growth in the material output matters a great deal for the value 
magnitudes, contrary to what TSS is implying.

To correct your model then I'll then allow the numbers in the L 
column to rise in each period.

L rises here on the assumption that each input kg of grain absorbs 
one labor hour--the assumption which you make for the first period in 
your initital table. 

Period  C (hrs) L(hrs)  X(hrs) ROP [(X-C)/C]   

1       50      10      60      0.200
2       60      12      72      0.200
3       72      15      87      0.222
4       87      20      107     0.230

So the rate of profit rises even on TSS assumptions. Per TSS unit 
values are also declining with time. My coffee shop calculation gave 
me something like 5, 4.8, 4.4, 3.9.

Of course since you have made the (absurd) assumption that v=0 or 
that workers live on air, the greater quantity of labor employed by 
capitalists is costing them nothing, so the denominator in the profit 
rate is not increased even with the employment of more labor.

What this implies is that if the rate of exploitation  has no 
limit--that is, v=0--then the rate of profit has no tendency to fall.

The limit of capital is thus not capital but the resistance of the 
working class.


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