[OPE-L:7676] Re: Re: Re: Re: Moving on...

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@mail.wesleyan.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 17 2002 - 18:03:08 EDT

Paulo, It's true that Marx's *eventual* point in the passage I cited from 
K.I Ch. 25 is to make a distinction between the technical and value 
composition of capital.  But the validity of his equation of "variable 
capital" and "the sum of wages" does not, so far as I can see, depend on 
that distinction being made.


>But Gil, on chapter XXV vol. I the definition of capital invested in terms of
>quantities times prices is necessary in order to distinguish between technical
>and value composition of capital. Why this should have any bearing on viewing
>capital advanced in terms of quantities of money capital as Fred suggests?
>Gil Skillman wrote:
> > Fred, thanks again for the references and the extensive summary of your
> > argument.  With your leave, I'd like to take it step by step, in order to
> > figure out where our points of necessary disagreement are, if any exist.
> >
> > Your first point:
> >
> > >1. C and V taken as given, as quantities of money-capital
> > >
> > >I argue that, in Marx's theory, the quantities of constant capital and
> > >variable capital are TAKEN AS GIVEN, PRESUPPOSED, as the two components of
> > >the initial money capital (M) invested in the first phase of the
> > >circulation of capital to purchase means of production and labor-power,
> > >respectively. The initial givens in Marx's theory are NOT the physical
> > >quantities of inputs, as in Sraffa's theory.
> >
> > Granting the latter statement, which is *descriptively* accurate, doesn't
> > imply any *necessary* *analytical* difference between the two approaches,
> > does it?  That is, the monetary magnitude Marx defines as "constant
> > capital" is necessarily determined by the sum of constant capital
> > commodities used up in production multiplied by their respective purchase
> > prices, isn't it?  Doesn't Marx use exactly this formulation in calculating
> > constant capital in the two examples he considers in K.I Chapter 9 (pp.
> > 327-329, Penguin)? Similarly, the monetary magnitude Marx defines as
> > "variable capital" corresponds to the wage rate paid times the units of
> > labor power employed in production, doesn't it?  Doesn't Marx invoke
> > exactly this sense in describing variable capital as "the sum total of
> > wages" at the beginning of K.I Chapter 25 (p. 762)?  Does Marx ever *deny*
> > that constant capital and variable capital are respectively determined in
> > this manner?  If not, couldn't the fact that Marx does not *in every
> > instance* resolve magnitudes of constant and variable capital into vector
> > products of input prices and input requirements reflect a wish to keep the
> > argument simple, rather than the desire to make any particular
> > *theoretical* commitment, especially since he assumes, beginning in K. I
> > Chapter 6, that commodity prices are always proportional to their
> > respective labor values?
> >
> > Gil

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