[OPE-L:7895] Re: Volume 1 about the total surplus-value

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Mon Nov 04 2002 - 10:19:03 EST

Re 7891:

Hi Fred,

Many thanks for your reply and for the attachments. The 'hostile 
brothers' ch. is the one I have been studying, whilst also dipping in 
to the other ch. and also your 1993 ch. on the transformation 

> What I mean by "theoretical determination" is that the total quantity
> of surplus-value is determined in Volume 1 by the following equation:
>  S  =  n [ m (LT - LN ) ]  =  n [ m ( LS ) ]
> where LT is the total working time for the average worker, LN is the
> necessary labor-time for the average worker, m is the money value
> added per hour, and n is the number of workers employed in the
> capitalist economy as a whole.  
> The "cause" of surplus-value is surplus labor, in the sense of the
> above equation, i.e. surplus-value is proportional to surplus labor. 
> Every hour that the average workers works over and above necessary
> labor produces m amount of surplus-value for capitalists.  

Could I ask for some points of clarification? You argue, of course, 
that m and LS (hence S) are 'taken as given' in volume 3. Is it the 
magnitude of their *product* (mLS) that is taken as given, or is the 
magnitude of the individual variables, i.e. m on the one hand and 
LS on the other, 'taken as given' (and their product then derived 
from these given magnitudes)? Indeed I could ask the same sort of 
question regarding LS and the sum of LT and -LN.

The next question is not only a point of clarification, rather it also 
may reveal where I am finding it difficult to grasp your view:

What is the causal process or mechanism, i.e. the social process, 
whereby S is made proportional to n [ m (LS) ] (such that the latter 
'determines' the former)? Is this process established in Vol 1?

(On my own reading, which I can now see is different to your 
interpretation, the answer to the last question is that this process 
has *not* been established. That is, I cannot see any social 
mechanism or structure in Vol 1 whereby proportionality between S 
and its own substance, viz nLS, is established).

Hope these questions make sense - would be very glad to clarify 
them if that would be helpful.

Thanks again,


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