[OPE-L:6838] Re: surplus value, commercial workers and merchant capital

From: Ian.Hunt@flinders.edu.au
Date: Thu Mar 28 2002 - 21:35:17 EST

Dear Jerry,
I agree that Marx's view of commercial profit within the capitalist mode of
production is that it is a redistribution of surplus value created
elsewhere: however, Marx accepts that commercial profit of a pre-capitalist
kind can still be earned to the extent that 'backward conditions' can
prevail in a capitalist system.

I am, myself, unsure of whether Marx's 'redistribution of surplus value'
will ultimately hold water: this is partly because the model of value as
some sort of stuff that seems implicit in it seems to me to be wrong in
principle, as 'form' theorists emphasise.This is not to say I have an
alternative position, I just haven't worked it through,
At 08:03 AM 3/26/02 -0500, you wrote:
>Re Ian's [6819]:
>> Marx also makes the point that surplus value can arise
>> from merchant capital, where the surplus value does not arise from hiring
>> workers to produce commodities with more value than costs of production,
>> but from buying cheap and selling dear.
>Hi Ian. A couple of points:
>a)  Marx is very clear in Volume 3,  Ch. 17 ("Commercial Profit") in stating
>his belief that commercial workers do not produce surplus value. Rather,
>this labor helps the commercial capitalist to "appropriate a portion of the
>surplus-value by getting it transferred from industrial capital to itself"
>(Penguin ed., p. 407).  [Based on the above, I gather that you agree with
>b) surplus value can not, I would assert, "arise" from buying cheap and
>selling dear where the cmp dominates, but the process of buying cheap
>and selling dear even where there are no wage-workers employed by
>an individual merchant capitalist can cause a redistribution of surplus
>value among capitalists so that the individual merchant gets a "share"
>of surplus-value.
>In solidarity, Jerry

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