[OPE-L:7915] Re: relation of value to organic composition of capital

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@lubs.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Tue Nov 05 2002 - 11:46:30 EST

Re 7912:

Hi Jerry,

> Hi Andy.  I don't understand why you think that working at the
> level  [of analysis] of  the VCC is more concrete than working at the
> level of the OCC. Could you explain?

There have, of course, been many different interpretations of the CCs. 

> By my reading, the OCC represents a dialectical unity of the VCC
> and the TCC.   Thus,  Marx writes that the VCC  "in so far as it is
> determined by the technical composition and mirrors the changes in the
> latter", is the OCC.  It would seem to me therefore that the level of
> analysis of working on the VCC is the same as the level for working on
> the OCC.

I'm not clear how you would *distinguish* between the VCC and the 
OCC on your own interpretation. Hence, also, I'm not clear what 
the dialectical unity would be uniting. 

On my interpretation of the above cite of Marx, the OCC will *only* 
change if the TCC changes. This has the relevant implication that 
the OCC does not change due to changes in the *value* of the 
components of the TCC. If the TCC hasn't changed then nor has 
the OCC. The VCC, on the other hand, does change if the value of 
the components of the TCC changes. Thus one can have the same 
TCC but differing VCC due to changes in values. In other words, the 
OCC is a category of production and abstracts away from changes 
in values due to the exchange process (e.g. distribution of SV 
according to profit rate equalistion), only taking into account 
changes in the TCC. The VCC is a category of exchange and so 
does not abstract from changes in value due to exchange. Thus the 
VCC will change if values change or if the TCC changes or if both 
change. The OCC will only change if the TCC changes. Hence the 
VCC is more concrete than the OCC.

Alfredo's is the best exposition of this - see his book, or his recent 
piece in Research in Political Economy. He pulls out useful cites 
from Marx to illustrate the distinction. The same distinction is 
stressed in Ben F. and also John Weeks' 'Capital and Exploitation' 
(on my reading, at least).

Many thanks,


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