# [OPE-L:7924] Re: Re: Re: Volume 1 about the total surplus-value

From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla (cipolla@sociais.ufpr.br)
Date: Wed Nov 06 2002 - 08:35:42 EST

```Fred, I am interested in reading your papers but was not able to open them.
Paulo

"Fred B. Moseley" wrote:

> On Fri, 1 Nov 2002, Andrew Brown wrote:
>
> > Hi there Fred,
> >
> > struggling to grasp the meaning of the following:
> >
> > > Yes, this is logically possible, but wouldn't it be better if the
> > > total surplus-value that is taken in Volume 3 were already determined
> > > by the theory of surplus-value in Volume 1?  Wouldn't that be a
> > > stronger theory than just taking the total surplus-value as given,
> > > without a theoretical determination?
> > >
> > > In any case, that is what Marx said he was doing - that the total
> > > surplus-value taken as given in Volume 3 has already been determined
> > > by the theory of surplus-value in Volume 1; i.e. by surplus labor.
> >
> > Especially, what does 'theoretical determination' mean?
> >
> > How does it related to 'cause'?
> >
> > For me, Vol 1 tells us for sure that the substance of SV is surplus
> > labour but it provides no guarantees that the appearance form, viz,
> > 'dM', is proportional in magnitude to the substance, viz. surplus
> > labour.
>
>
> 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.
>
> This basic theory of the determination of the total surplus-value is not
> revised or modified in the later volumes of Capital.  No new variables are
> later added to this basic equation of the determination of the total
> surplus-value.  This theory is amplified by exploring further the complex
> determination of the key variables on the right-hand side of this equation
> (LT and LN).  But the basic theory of surplus-value, as represented by
> this equation, remains the same.
>
> This total quantity of surplus-value, as determined in Volume 1, is then
> taken as given (i.e. as predetermined) in the Volume 3 theory of the
> distribution of surplus-value, or the division of this given,
> predetermined total amount of surplus-value into individual parts.  Marx
> repeats this assumption in every part of Volume 3 (except Part 3), as I
> have documented in two papers (these two papers are attached to this
> message):
>
> "The Development of Marx's of the Distribution of Surplus-value"
> in Moseley and Campbell (eds), *New Investigations of Marx's Method*
>
> "Hostile Brothers: Marx's Theory of the Distribution of Surplus-value
>     in Volume 3 of Capital"
> in Reuten (ed.), *The Culmination of Capital*
>
> For example in Part 2, the general rate of profit is determined by the
> ratio of the total surplus-value to the total capital invested, and the
> total surplus-value in the numerator is taken as given (as determined in
> Volume 1).  Similarly in Part 4, the determination of the general rate of
> profit is modified to include commercial capital in the denominator; but
> the total surplus-value in the numerator remains the same, and continues
> to be taken as given (as determined in Volume 1).  And in Parts 5 and 6,
> the total surplus-value is again taken as given and the theory is about
> how this total surplus-value is divided into profit and interest and rent.
>
> And then in Part 7, Marx says in a number of places that the total
> surplus-value as already determined provides the limit for the parts into
> which this total surplus-value is divided.  For example, the passage I
> quoted in my last post in response to Paolo, an excerpt of which is:
>
> "We have thus an *absolute limit* for the value component that forms
> surplus-value and can be broken down into profit and ground-rent; this is
> determined by the *excess of the unpaid portion of the working day over
> its paid portion*, i.e. by the value component of the total product in
> which this *surplus labor* is realized...  The *transformation of values
> into prices of production does not abolish the limits to profit, but
> simply affects its distribution among the various particular capitals of
> which the social capital is composed* ..."(C.III:  998-1000; emphasis
>
> And then there is the clear statement in the Grundrisse that the
> equalization of the profit rate across industries does not affect its
> total magnitude "ever":
>
> *The total surplus-value ... can neither grow or decrease by this
> operation* [the equalization of rates of profit. FM], ever; what is
> modified thereby is not it, but only its distribution among the different
> capitals.  (G. 684; emphasis added)
>
> So we can see that Marx's theory does "provide a guarantee" that the total
> surplus-value distributed in Volume 3 is equal to the total surplus-value
> produced in Volume 1 (i.e. is proportional to surplus labor).  The
> guarantee is that this is what Marx ASSUMED.  In Volume 3, Marx took the
> total surplus-value as given, as determined in Volume 1, i.e. by the above
> equation.  Marx's theory of the distribution of surplus-value in Volume 3
> is about how this given, predetermined total amount of surplus-value is
> divided into individual parts.
>
> Dumenil has written that the equality between total profit and total
> surplus-value is a TAUTOLOGY.  Dumenil is correct in this respect.  This
> aggregate equality is not a result which may or may not be true, depending
> on the composition of capital of wage goods and surplus goods, but is an
> initial assumption in Marx's theory of the distribution of surplus-value
> in Volume 3.
>
>
> Andy, I hope this helps to clarify.  I look forward to your response and
> to further discussion.
>
> Fred
>
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>                  Name: DISTSV.doc