[OPE-L:6583] Re: Tugan -> Hilferding and schema; where is Lenin?

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 14:54:33 EST

re Alejandro's 6579

>This passage is amazing: While Tugan openly states that his theory is not
>Marx's (see below), Hilferding says that "It is Marxism gone mad, but still

But isn't Hilferding quite correct about Tugan's implicit denial of 
consumption as the aim of production being quite in the spirit of 
Marxism, however mad Tugan's own results.

>In Chapter 1 of the Studies, Tugan writes:
>"The valorization of social capital takes place by mediation of money.
>Commodities must be sold in order to be transformed into new commodities.
>Yet, in the abstract analysis of the social reproduction of capital, we can
>leave out of account completely the role of money in this reproduction.
>This does not mean that we deny that the interruptions in the money
>circulation provoke disturbances in the process of the reproduction of
>social capital. But, for the moment, is not our task to investigate such
>interruptions. As far as money plays only a mediating role in exchange,
>products are purchased with products. We proceed from this assumption in
>the following analysis." (p. 65)

Whether Tugan works on the assumption of barter or Marx posits a 
growing gold sector may not matter in terms of what the purpose of 
the schema actually is.

The schema into which are built all kinds of fantastic assumptions 
were never meant to show either the historic limits or the 
limitlessness of capital accumulation. We are agreed, right?

They are not even a growth model a la Harrod Domar. I don't even 
think they are fundamentally meant to show that accumulation is 
possible, and need not founder on a permanent consumption deficit.

The schema are meant to show the great liklihood of endemic 
disequilibrium. That's it. I want to look back at Meghnad Desai's 

I think what Duncan does with them is his own original theoretical 
contribution, e.g., to show how finance, realization and production 
lags slow down the rate of accumulation.

Note his equation 5.25 (which is introduced before he considers 
inter-departmental relations, so I am going off point here):

g=ln(1+pq)/Tf + Tr + Tp.

"It shows that the rate of expansion does indeed depend on the key 
parameters of the system, the markup q, which reflect the social 
relations of production as the product of the rate of surplus value 
and the composition of capital; p, the rate of capitalisation of 
surplus value, which determines how much of the surplus value 
reenters the circuit of capital; and the time lags in the various 
phases of the circuit. the rate of expansion increases with the mark 
up and capitalisation rate and decreases with the rises in any of the 
time lags. This equation thus provides a basic framework for the 
analysis of the political economy of accumulation in capitalist 
societies, because it shows the proximate variables that policy must 
affect in order to alter the rate of accumulation.", p. 74

But I don't think the Marx meant to isolate those variables 
manipulation of which could lead to the achievement of a maximum 
growth rate, though I must say that I have been asking Fred why if 
the rate of capitalisation picks up, a falling rate of profit  ipso 
facto results in a declining demand for labor relative to its supply. 
In short, a falling rate of profit does not mean that accumulation 
cannot founder on a shortage of labor power if despite a falling rate 
of profit the rate of capitalisation is increasing and the relevant 
time lags shortening.


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