[OPE-L:7871] Re: Re: 'Hic Rhodus, hic salta!'

From: clyder@gn.apc.org
Date: Tue Oct 29 2002 - 17:42:52 EST

Quoting gerald_a_levy <gerald_a_levy@msn.com>:
> Once in the crisis, then the altered standpoint of capital (the realization
> that the dream of endless profit has been transformed into the
> nightmare of crisis) is important for more than just individual capitalists
> since increased investment in C + V will only occur when (dare I say
> the word?) *expectations* of profitability become more favorable.
> Weren't expectations critically important for Kalecki's theory (who you
> refer favorably to elsewhere) as well as Keynes's theory?

True of Keynes, much less so of Kalecki.

>  While
> this isn't -- perhaps -- relevant for an analysis at the level of
> abstraction of _Capital_ it surely is important when considering the
> *timing and duration* of economic crises.

I think it is a cop out from determining the real dynamics of the

> > Considered objectively, there will be underlying causes which will
> > determine how much of each commodity will get sold. The quantity sold
> > is determined by various objective conditions - for instance the
> > quantity of steel sold is determined by the current production levels
> > in the steel using industries. It is this requirement that determines
> > how much labour - given current technical conditions - is socially
> > necessary in steel production. These objective conditions determine
> > the sales. The quantity sold reveals to the individual bourgeois whether
> > the labour he employed was socially necessary. But if steel production
> > exceeds current steel consumption then some of the labour expended on
> > steel production is unnecessary. It is not the lack of sales that makes
> > labour unnecessary but labour's lack of necessity that explains the
> > dearth of sales.
> Your choice of an example (steel)  is not very representative since it
> is  an intermediate good which is purchased by other capitalists as an
> input of constant capital. 

Yes but it is commodities that form constant capital that are the
most unstable in their sales, and whose fluctuations are the key
element of the business cycle. Corn or bread would not have been 
a plausible example. For steel read memory chips today or internet
switch equipment.

I will reply to the rest later as it is getting late.

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