[OPE-L:7980] Re: Re: relation of VCC to OCC

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Sun Nov 10 2002 - 09:29:10 EST

On Sat, 9 Nov 2002, gerald_a_levy wrote:

> Re Fred's [7975]:
> >  Marx defined the OCC as follows:
> > "There is a close correlation between the two [the technical composition
> > and the value composition; FM].  I call the value composition of capital,
> > in so far as it is determined by its technical composition and mirrors the
> > changes in the latter, the organic composition of capital." (C.I. 762)
> >
> > [Notice that the OCC *IS* the VCC, in so far as it is determined by
> > changes in the TCC, i.e. by technological change.]
> But notice that Marx's definition  above didn't equate changes in the TCC
> with technological change.  Moreover, the TCC  -- as Marx _did_ define it --
> is a very unreliable barometer for technological change.  One also has to
> recall that technological change can take many forms, e.g. economy in the
> use of constant capital,  yet how would this (and other) types of
> technological change show up in the TCC?  Suppose there was a
> change in the TCC -- as you defined it above -- that caused the 'mass' of
> means of production to decrease in relation to workers employed.  In
> that case -- using your definition -- an increase in technological change
> can bring about a decrease in the TCC, right?

I guess this could happen on rare cases.  But this is not a problem for
the definition of the OCC.  The OCC is still the VCC as it is affected by
technological change only, i.e. only by changes in the TCC.  If a
certain kind of technological change reduced the TCC, this effect would
still be included in the OCC.  

But I think Marx generally assumed that technological change would
increase the TCC, both because the quantity of raw materials processed per
worker would increase and because the system of machinery would be bigger
and more complex.  And the concept of the OCC serves to focus his analysis
of the trend over time in the VCC solely on the effects of technological
change on the VCC, abstracting from other factors that also affect the


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