(OPE-L) Re: transfers of surplus value among capitalists

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Tue Feb 17 2004 - 09:43:58 EST

Hi Cyrus. I only have time now for a small bite.

> Let me ask on behalf of our deceased colleague and friend: Why do we need
> to  measure the transfer of value and surplus value between firms and
> industries?  And what do we want to measure by that?

To the extent that the transfer of surplus value is not only a theoretical
subject but is also an actual social and historical process that occurs
during the course of capitalist accumulation, it should be observable and

I have raised the question of disaggregation in this thread.  Let me now
pose a related question about levels of aggregation.  If  the topic for
discussion primarily concerns whether there is one rate of surplus value
which is a macroeconomic rate,  then how can the position that there
is one macroeconomic rate be reconciled with the fact that there are many
macroeconomies (each with different historically and culturally
constituted values of labour-power and SNLT)?  If you were to ask me
why this is important, I would say that is is important from the perspective
explaining the _international_ production and transfer of surplus value.
Secondarily, it is important from the perspective of Marxian empirical

> The results of such
> transfers are apparent in the formation of the rate of profit already.

Whether there is a general rate of profit and the formation of prices
of production in contemporary capitalism -- and whether there is one
rate of profit internationally -- can not be presumed.   There are,
for example, huge disparities in individual profit rates for reasons other
than those considered by Marx:  e.g. price determination in
oligopolistic markets where non-homogeneous (but similar) commodities
are being sold by firms which engage in the competitive strategy of
product differentiation.

>  The rate of exploitation (measured by
> the rate of surplus value), therefore, is a macroeconomic entity that
> belongs to the entire social capital.

Isn't the entire social capital to be understood _globally_?

> I am delighted that we are having these
> conversations regardless of the extent to which we agree (or disagree)
> with each other in this magnificent forum.  Thanks.


In solidarity, Jerry

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