[OPE-L:7981] Re: relation of VCC to OCC

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Sun Nov 10 2002 - 10:16:00 EST

Re Fred's [7980]:

> 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.

The problem is  (at least) two-fold:

1) the measure of  means of production to workers employed is a very
poor measure of technological change especially since the measure
suggested for MP as use-value is 'mass'.  Yet, increasing 'mass' of MP
tells us what exactly about 'technological change'?

2)  The form of technological change that Marx evidently assumed
here was labor-saving technological change.  What of other forms of
technological change?  For instance, 'capital-saving' technological
change?  Thus,  it would be easy to demonstrate that where there is
increasing technological change  (understood more broadly than just
labor-saving technical change) any one of three results are possible:

a) the TCC increases (what Marx evidently took to be the 'normal' case);

b) the TCC decreases (if there has been capital-saving technical change
which reduces the mass of MP in relation to workers employed);

c) there is *no change* in the TCC (if the technical change has a
'neutral' effect on mass of MP and workers employed).

The possibility of c) especially refutes your claim that technological
would necessarily lead to a change in the TCC and thereby the OCC.
[the possibility of b) and c) reminds me of the Cambridge Controversies
that Simon mentioned].

> 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.

Yes, I agree that this appeared to be his assumption.

In solidarity, Jerry

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