Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 10:30:09 EDT


In Sraffas theory the material surplus R is a dimensionless number
being in effect the greatest eigen value of the technology matrix.
It is measured as
units of the standard commodity/ units of the standard commodity
and hence is a dimensionless scalar

Diego Guerrero wrote:
> Paul C. wrote:
>
> I donít see why Phil is opposed to the notion of a material
>
> surplus?
>
>
> I am opposed too inasmuch as this material surplus is conceived as
> something different from (labour) time surplus. Time, and so labour
> time, is a material fact; time is also one of the most important
> variables in physics. Labour time can be applied to, and conceived
> of, every commodity, including services. No other physical variable can
> be predicated of all commodities. People defending a notion of "material
> surplus" in production (different from time) should tell us in terms of
> what magnitude could we compute it: weigh, volume, surface...? It should
> be the same physical property and it should be present in any commodity,
> including services.
>
> Moreover, can ayone say which is the surplus obtained when for instance
> transforming a Ton. of ore gold in a jewel of 10 grams of pure gold?
>
> Diego
>
>
>
>     ----- Original Message -----
>     *From:* Paul Cockshott <mailto:wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK>
>     *To:* OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU <mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU>
>     *Sent:* Tuesday, September 20, 2005 11:58 AM
>     *Subject:* Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics
>
>     I would be keen to defend the notion of a basic sector.
>
>
>
>     In reply to Ian.
>
>     Sraffa says that in principle the wage should be split
>
>     into a portion necessary for the reproduction of labour
>
>     power, and a portion that constitutes part of the surplus
>
>     that can be struggled over. I think this is certainly correct.
>
>     If one took that view of it, the basic sector would include
>
>     those products whose production was necessary to the
>
>     reproduction of the working population.
>
>
>
>     I am unconvinced that things would be materially changed
>
>     by expressing things as continuous flows rather than
>
>     as annual rounds of production. One would still get
>
>     R as a variable expressing now the maximal instantaneous
>
>     rate of expansion of the economy as a time derivative
>
>     rather than expressing the expansion as an annual
>
>     rate.
>
>
>
>     I donít see why Phil is opposed to the notion of a material
>
>     surplus?
>
>
>


--
Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow



0141 330 3125


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