[OPE-L:7953] Re: relation of value to organic composition of capital

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Thu Nov 07 2002 - 09:08:30 EST

Re Andy's [7950]:

> You mention that your reply to Simon is also a reply to my own
> posts. I actually thought that my own posts addressed the issues
> you raise here, however. I wonder if you could double check to see
> if they do indeed meet your concerns?

Upon reading your comment in [7934], responding to Simon's [7930],
that "I could live for a hundred years and never put it as concisely and
clearly as does Simon", I  felt I could answer the issues you raised via an
answer to Simon's post.   However, it is true -- as the following post and
[7933] show -- that you have nuanced your position such that it is
different from Simon's and so therefore deserves a separate answer.

> > > Then we need to express the TCC in value terms.
> > Herein lies the rub.  If that is the case then why have the
> > distinction between  TCC and VCC to begin with?
> In [7933] I tried to address this point. Basically there is a clear
> conceptual distinction between the ratio in physical terms (the
> TCC) and the ratio in value terms (both the OCC and the VCC). The
> TCC, as a vector divided by a scalar is not in general comparable
> across time and space but this doesn't make it meaningless, nor
> does it make it a value category.


> It does mean that for the
> purposes of economic theory we have to 'assess' the TCC in value
> terms.

I don't think that there can be any meaningful  and unproblematic way
in which we can 'assess' (calculate?) use-value.

[btw, I agree with your comments on the usefulness of measuring the
"mass" of means of production in [7933].  Furthermore, let me note that
since the advent of such technological developments as the transistor and
microprocessor there has been a trend towards the *miniaturization of
means of production* (which, along with the trend for more energy-
efficient means of production, also implies economies in the use of
circulating capital and reductions in rent) which suggest a trend towards
decreasing ''mass" of  MP.]

> For it is the 'value assessment' of the TCC that counts, e.g.
> in the determination of the profit rate. The question is, which values
> should we use to assess the TCC?

I don't think that use-values can be accurately "assessed", i.e. assigned
a meaningful magnitude. [and we should avoid a contrivance like the
marginalist  pseudo-measure "utils".]

> Now, in the dynamic case
> (addressed by Simon, and the easiest one to understand) then one
> can see the OCC as a constant price measure and the VCC as a
> current price measure. In the static case of the transformation
> problem one simply holds the OCC constant (because the TCC is
> unchanged) as we go through a logical rather than temporal
> sequence, first looking at the 'value' rate of profit (i.e. before profit
> rate equalisation) and second at the 'price' rate of profit (the
> equalised rate). Again, I simply can't stress too highly how
> important this is because it blows away the myth that Marx's
> procedure is flawed because he 'failed' to transform the inputs.

Since the above appears to be a summary of a presentation that
I am not familiar with (from Alfredo's book? ... your dissertation?)
I'll not comment at this time.

> Above I have suggested that there are overwhelming theoretical
> 'advantages' with the distinction. In short, it clears up the
> controversy over both the TP and the LTRPF. How much more
> useful can you get!?:)

For the same reason I indicated above, I will not comment on this

> I agree with you that the TCC must be kept as a use value notion,
> as I have tried to explain above and in previous posts. Also I have
> (following my [7933]) accordingly modified my exposition of the
> OCC (in line with Alfredo's own exposition). I now say that the OCC
> is a 'value-reflex' or 'value assessment' of the TCC. This has a
> rather different connotation to the notion of an 'index' of the TCC,
> since it does not suggest that the TCC is an unambiguous pre-
> given quantity.

Yes, it's different.  But, I'm not convinced that the underlying issue
is satisfactorily answered.  You still attempt to assign some way
of measuring/assessing the TCC.  How *exactly* is this done?

> I would also agree that there is a dialectical unity between value
> and use value, running through all of Marx's 'Capital', and that this
> is of course present in the TCC / VCC distinction, and indeed the
> latter distinction is a more concrete expresison of the basic use
> value / value distinction introduced in Vol 1. However, I am still not
> clear on how, on your account, the term 'OCC' is necessary to
> express this unity. Why not just say 'CC'?

The VCC  doesn't *by itself*, i.e. in isolation from the TCC,  encompass
that distinction.  It is the OCC rather that 'mirrors' both the VCC and TCC.
That is, it is only the OCC -- rather than the TCC or VCC -- which
encompasses both the use-value and value sides.

In solidarity, Jerry

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