[OPE-L:7752] Re: the theory of surplus value and magnitude (with a btw on VFT)

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Sat Oct 05 2002 - 10:11:26 EDT

To save on a post, I'll reply to Fred's [7744] and
[7749] at the same time.

>From [7744]:

>  But we both agree (I think; Jerry please clarify
>  if necessary) that the quantitative aspect of
>  Marx's theory of surplus-value is about the
>  total surplus-value.

Well, yes, but what *IS*  the "total surplus-value"?
Total surplus-value can not be known until the
total commodity product has been sold.  If part
of the total commodity product is not sold, then
a portion of  surplus-value will not be ACTUALized
thereby diminishing the 'total surplus-value' that
appeared (to individual capitalists) to exist.  This
potential gap between the surplus-value that exits
the production process and the surplus-value that
can be converted into capital or unproductively
consumed  following sale -- i.e. the ACTUAL,
(non-hypothetical) magnitude of surplus-value,
arises because only SOCIALLY-NECESSARY
labor time can create value.

Previously I wrote in [7734]:

>  btw -- reading between the lines -- I am now pleased to read that
> you MUST reject the oft-stated perspective that VALUE-FORM
> OF SURPLUS VALUE.  This MUST be the case since clearly VFT,
> in all shades and colors,  incorporates an analysis of the MONEY-FORM,
> and hence MAGNITUDE, in its analysis of surplus-value. Hence
> the charge that for VFT surplus value is a "metaphor" must necessarily
> be rejected.

Fred replied in [7749]:

> Jerry, I don't really want to get into this right now, but a quick
> response: The fact that VFT incorporates analysis of the money-form, and
> hence magnitudes, does not necessarily mean that it has a quantitative
> theory of surplus-value.
> Marx's quantitative theory of surplus-value is expressed by the
> equation: S = m Ls.  According to Marx's theory, the magnitude of Ls is
> assumed to be determined independently of S, and in turn to determine S.

Why do you assume that to have a quantitative theory of
surplus-value, you must share Marx's perspective (or your interpretation
of Marx's perspective)?  Geert and Mike W, for instance, are unequivocal
in stating that their perspective on value is not the same as Marx's
perspective.  Hence to suggest that the two perspectives are different
does not in any way speak to the question since it is possible -- is it not,
Fred? -- to have a quantitative theory of surplus-value that is not the
same as Marx's theory.

> I don't think the VFT in general (there may be individual
> exceptions) accepts Marx's quantitative theory of surplus-value, because
> it does not accept the Ls is determined independently of S, as the
> "substance" of S.  And I don't know of any other VFT that determines the
> magnitude of S.  That's why I have said (and continue to say) that VFT in
> general has no quantitative theory that determines the magnitude of
> surplus-value.  Please correct me if I am wrong.

Well,  I could turn your statement around and suggest that there is no (?)
"labor embodied" quantitative theory of surplus-value where the magnitude
of s is not given by the direct and indirect labor expended in production
rather than the SOCIALLY NECESSARY labor time which can not be
known or calculated prior to the sale of the commodity product. Thus,
it seems to me that one could assert that the quantitative theories of
surplus-value advanced by most non-VFTers are not about surplus-value
at all and hence can not determine the magnitude of the ACTUAL
total  non-hypothetical surplus-value.

In solidarity, Jerry

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