Re: (OPE-L) s/v & c/v: macroeconomic categories only?

From: Cyrus Bina (binac@MRS.UMN.EDU)
Date: Wed Jan 28 2004 - 15:55:24 EST

Dear Jerry:

I had to run to my class and when I returned find out that my response to
your first question about rate of sv in the oil industry (and possible
distinction between US oil and Persian Gulf oil regions) remained
incomplete.  I wrote:

    "1.There is no 'rate of surplus value' in US oil and another in
Persian-Gulf oil.  The globalization of oil, since mid-1970s, means that the
oil industry is a 'unified' industry, without separate conceptual parts."

However, like Simon Mohn, I do not think that the rate of surplus value
belongs to a firm or an industry.  Such a rate is an aggregate relationship
that is firmly connects with total social capital.  As such, regardless of
the global unification of oil regions, the rate of surplus value for each
Middle Eastern oil country and that of the US is not a priori the same.



----- Original Message -----
From: "gerald_a_levy" <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 7:54 AM
Subject: (OPE-L) s/v & c/v: macroeconomic categories only?

> In the discussion on rent (on the list and in _Capital_), there is
> repeated reference to varying compositions of capital in different
> branches of production.  E.g. see the quote from _Capital_ on AR
> in Paul Z's post yesterday.  Indeed, Marx wrote an entire chapter in
> Volume 3 (Ch. 8) on "differing compositions of capital in differing
> branches of production....".
> * Would others agree that the composition of capital varies in
>    different branches of production and is not _only_ "an overall
>    macroeconomic category"?
> * If the composition of capital can vary in different branches of
>    production, can't there also be different rates of surplus value
>    in different branches of production?
> The background for the last question was a comment made by
> Simon on January 6:
> > 1. I think of the rate of surplus value as an overall macroeconomic
> > category applying to the whole economy, and not applicable to individual
> > production processes. (But I know that many disagree with this.)
> Why is this the case or why is it not?
> In solidarity, Jerry

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