[OPE-L:6842] Re: surplus value, commercial workers and merchant capital (fwd)

From: glevy@pop-b.pratt.edu
Date: Sat Mar 30 2002 - 09:32:54 EST

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ian Hunt <Ian.Hunt@flinders.edu.au>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 14:30:53 +1030
Subject: Re: [OPE-L:6839] Re:  surplus value, commercial workers and  
 merchant capital

Dear Jerry,
The distinction between surplus product and surplus value is important:
slave owners, feudal lords, tributory systems, etc have all appropriated
surplus product (and surplus labour) but not surplus value. However, it
would be absurd to claim that merchants, even in 'backward conditions', do
not appropriate surplus value but only surplus product,  surplus labour or
just money (Marx says that money is the expression of exchange value, even
in 'backward conditions' of commodity exchange)  when they buy cheap and
sell dear.

>Re Ian's [6838]:
>> 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 agree that the redistribution of surplus value does not explain the
>whole picture where 'backward conditions' (what a terrible expression!)
>prevail. In order to explain this and the wider global context, we not
>only have to look at the distribution of surplus value but also at the
>distribution of *wealth*.  Moreover, the distinction between surplus value
>and *surplus product* also has important meaning.
>In solidarity, Jerry

Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Philosophy Dept, School of Humanities,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

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