[OPE-L:8540] Re: A possible reason why profit rates do not equalise--belated comment

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Mon Mar 03 2003 - 11:49:45 EST

Re Chris's [8533]:

> IMHO the assumption (not law) of equal rates of exploitation and the
> assumption (not law) of equal profit rates are entirely theoretically
> justified by the need to isolate the effect of different determinants.
> What happens to these rates empirically is another question.

The issue in this thread, posed originally by Paul C in [8297] and
addressed more recently by Mike L [8504; 8523],  is "why the rate of
profit between sectors does not equalize in the way expected by
Marx" [8297].   It seems *entirely*  appropriate while attempting to
answer that question to look at Marx's assumptions.  Whether those
assumptions were legitimate in the context of  Part Two, of Volume 3
of _Capital_ is an entirely different, and more abstract,  question.
I would add, further, that if one within the context of a systematic
dialectical presentation makes assumptions with the intention of
isolating the effect of different determinants then one is theoretically
*required* at a more concrete level of the presentation to  either
withdraw those assumptions  to see how one's understanding
of the subject is modified or to demonstrate that what was previously
assumed can now be shown to be a result.  I seriously question whether
one can demonstrate (theoretically and empirically) a tendency for the
equalization of rates of surplus value within the context of  the dynamic
process of capital accumulation.  Instead, I think that the most one can 
demonstrate is that there are certain periods in which the disparity in 
rates of surplus value is greater or lesser and explain (theoretically and
empirically) the causes for the changes in disparity.

Solidarity, Jerry

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