[OPE-L:8081] Re: philosophy and political economy

From: Michael Eldred (artefact@t-online.de)
Date: Thu Nov 28 2002 - 06:07:29 EST

Cologne 28-Nov-2002

 Christopher Arthur <cjarthur@waitrose.com> schrieb  Wed, 27 Nov 2002 17:01:08

> Re: Michael's [OPE-L:8065]
> AB> I would very be interested to see how you would theorise the
> > magnitudes of wages and profits etc. My view is that this requires
> > the LTV.
> ME "The first step is to learn to see that the measure of abstract use or
> abstract labour as it is practically brought about by universal commodity
> exchange is not time, but money itself, which mediates commodity exchange.
> That is, the measure itself is brought about by the abstract social
> relation."
> Hi Michael!
> Surely you must know the basic truth of capitalist society "Time is Money"!
> Why? Because your M in simple circulation has the form of measure but no
> real determinate immanent dimension. But we know that what circulates are
> capitalistically produced goods. How would competing capitals measure their
> Cs? M is no good, because K is interested only in delta M, but moreover not
> that alone but the fact that between M and Mprime is an interval during
> which K is tied up. So Capitals must be compensated for their toil and
> trouble i.e. the time for which they are tied up wrestling with matter.
> Money IS time. Or more precisely value is crystalised time, the Dasein of
> its Becoming, or essentially 'that which has become', which must bear
> regular proportions to the time of their becoming for capital to persist
> with them.
> Chris
> PS I will comment on substance when I have more time (!)
> 17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

Hi there Chris, nice to hear from you again,

Okay, you say that the "basic truth of capitalist society "Time is Money"!",
capitalist society being economically sociated through the movement of value,
i.e. the movement of money. This _movement_ takes place in time, and the
success or otherwise of capital's movement is its augmentation: dM/dt.
Maximization of dM/dt (no matter whether over the short or long run, but
preferably long) is the abstract, simple striving of capital. In the world of
business and finance, this is said thus: It's the bottom line that counts (at
the end of a quarter, a year, in the long run).

I presume that the value you are referring to as crystallized time is the dM --
but I don't see any time in there. Rather, the time is in the quotient, delta-t
(dt). dM is simply the difference M' (Mprime) minus M (the principal advanced,
ventured, risk, employed). M' comes from the sale of the product C', i.e. from
the valuation of C' on the market in which its value is recognized and
appreciated by willing purchasers (either consumers or other capitalist
companies) in paying for C'. No time in there either.

In the production process P itself time affects dM/dt through productivity,
i.e. how much product is produced in unit time. Ceteris paribus, the more
produced in unit time, the better for capital augmentation, for this will
augment proceeds (the top line).

The shortening of turnover time (production phase plus circulation phase) also
enhances capital augmentation ceteris paribus, but this too amounts to
diminishing delta-t (dt) and thus increasing dM/dt.

Ceteris paribus is important here mainly to say: As long as purchase and
selling prices stay constant (which they don't of course -- but that doesn't
matter so much if competing capitals are in the same situation).

(The false semblance of SNLT causally determining the magnitude of value arises
through the connection between increasing productivity, thus lowering costs and
increasing output, and increased supply depressing selling prices. But there is
a whole multitude of such ad hoc explanatory connections for understanding, all
valid within their own scope, and each playing over the abyss of value
formation. For instance, a company can invest in brand-building to enhance
consumer desire for a given product, thus establishing a value-premium for the
branded product -- Coca Cola being the most famous and successful example.
Value out of the nothingness of human beings' desirous relation to things.)

So I'd rather say: the movement of money as capital _squeezes_ (existential,
lived, human) time, the squeezing being the striving to minimize delta-t. For,
as you point out, capital also has to engage with things and humans. (And
humans have their own motives for engaging with capital -- as entrepreneurs,
managers, wage-earners, investors, lenders, land-owners.)

This phenomenon of squeezing requires some further explication: Just as the
practice of commodity exchange institutes the value dimension as a
quantitative, monetary social dimension, the movement of value as capital is a
movement within quantified time, delta-t (dt). The practice of capitalist
production, too, M -- C (P) -- M+dM, is a quantified movement in quantified,
measurable time t.

But quantified, mathematically amenable time is not originary time, i.e. the
three-dimensional existential timespace within which human being has a future,
its present and its what-has-been. Existential timespace comes under the sway
of quantified, linear time t through the movement of value as capital. Not only
are human powers (labour power, entrepreuneurial skill, etc.) quantified under
the money-form, but human existential time is also subjected to the imperative
of minimizing delta-t (dt). This could be called a squeezing of existential
time by quantified time in the mathematically expressible principle/imperative
of capital, viz.: maximize dM/dt..

_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-  artefact text and translation _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_- made by art  _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
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_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ Dr Michael Eldred -_-_-

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