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

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Wed Feb 18 2004 - 19:37:06 EST

Hi Cyrus.

 There are two issues in your post that I would like to pursue.

1.)  rate(s) of  profit and rate(s) of surplus value in contemporary
      capitalist social formations.
2.)  the concept of labor aristocracy and its relation to understandings
      of exploitation.

 For the sake of 'thread clarity', I'll  raise 2.) in a separate post.

 >     One has to be careful about taking the data and interpreting them in
> Marxian terms.  For instance, 'profit margin' is not the same as the rate
>  of  profit.


> Besides, in my response, I do not claim that there is one rate of
> profit transnationally.  I fully concur with your statement that there are
> huge disparities in individual profit rates for other reasons.  Here, we
>are talking at two different levels of analysis; your argument is the most
> concrete and operational levels of analysis.  And that's fine with me.
> All I am saying is that speaking of  different profit rates in such a
> manner has less to do with the rate of exploitation in Marx.

Whether we're discussing a rate of surplus value or rates of surplus value
in contemporary capitalism  we have already moved beyond the level of
analysis in Marx's _Capital_ since the empirical reality is the unity of
many determinations.  We can, for example, no longer abstract from the
concrete nature of competition, foreign trade, the state, or the world
market and crises.  In this transition to the unity of many determinations
an examination, the transitional assumptions that were made in the
presentation by Marx have to be dropped.  In the concrete determination
of  the contemporary capitalist economy,  shouldn't we be able to
quantitatively demonstrate an empirical relation between profit rates and
rates of surplus value?  If there is one (general, average) rate of profit
and one rate of surplus value within a macroeconomy, wouldn't that
suggest an identity between the two rates?   That doesn't sound  right
to me.

In solidarity, Jerry

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