[OPE-L:7845] Re: 'Hic Rhodus, hic salta!'

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Mon Oct 21 2002 - 09:34:30 EDT

Hi Paul: Listproc has been down  since Saturday (it is Monday AM
at the time that this is being written) so I don't have an OPE-L ID#
for your post.

Re Paul C's response to [OPE-L:7810]   'Hic Rhodus, hic salta!'
Dated Sun, October 13

Previously I wrote:

> > Fred, the determination of the magnitude of surplus-value in Volume
> > One was made under the *assumption* that the entire surplus-value
> > created in production would be actualized in exchange.  Therefore the
> > magnitude of surplus-value in Volume Three has not been determined
> > except for the *special case* where the entire surplus-value is
> > actualized.  In other words, the magnitude of s in Volume 3 will equal
> > the magnitude that is given in Volume One *if any only if* the reality
> > corresponds to this restrictive assumption.  But, one would think that
> > during the contractionary phase of the trade cycle this assumption
> > will _not_ hold as there are unsold inventories of commodities.  Thus,
> > if we are going to talk about the magnitude of surplus-value during
> > periods of crisis then this restrictive assumption must be dropped.
> > Do you see what I mean?

Paul C responded:

> I think here you should not use the same phrase surplus - value to refer
> to two different things
> - the value produced over and above the share going to
> labour, and
> - the money profits of the capitalist class.
> These are categories at different levels of abstraction. The laws
> governing the latter are quite different from the laws governing the
> former - indeed as Kalecki indicates the causal relations involved
> appear almost inverted in the case of profits.

Here's the way I look at the question:

Unlike the form that the surplus product takes within other modes of
production,  under capitalism the surplus product necessarily takes
the form of surplus-value and hence is expressed as money (since
under generalized commodity production where capitalism prevails
the value-form is a necessary form of appearance of  value and money
becomes a necessary form of appearance of the value-form).  Indeed,
under capitalism the value of labour-power and value in general
necessarily come to be expressed as money due to the nature of the
commodity-form.  Thus,  the generalization of the money-form  is a
*necessary  presumption* for the creation of value.  Without the
money-form the relationship between the producers and the ruling
class (and with it their shares of wealth) would  take an essentially
different form.

As for the level of abstraction, the *possibility* that value may not
become actualized can be seen at the level of abstraction of _Capital_
(Volume 1, Chapter 1!!!).   Where this possibility that lies latent within
the commodity-form is *systematically* developed and transformed from
mere formal possibility to a *necessary* subject concerning the dynamics
of the accumulation  of capital is unclear.  Where do you think that subject
belongs within the overall ordering of a systematic reconstruction in
of capitalism?   Also, -- putting the question using the same terms you
expressed above -- what  specifically is the level of abstraction where
the laws governing the share of wealth going to laborers and the share going
to capitalists is systematically developed?  Moreover, what 'laws' are you
thinking of in this context?

In solidarity, Jerry

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