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

From: Diego Guerrero (diego.guerrero@CPS.UCM.ES)
Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 12:58:19 EDT


Is not R in Sraffa's theory the maximun rate of profit? If so, it is a ratio 
or quotient between two "things" that must have some (physical) dimension. 
For instance, in Marxian theory, the rates of profit and surplus value are 
also quotients. They have no dimension but are the ratios of quantities of 
labour or money (measured in hours or euros). So, the rate of profit is an 
(maximum) eigenvalue as well, but this pure number is the quotient of two 
units that are in fact the same "thing". But again: which is the physical 
unit of the standard commodity? It must have one and I cannot conceive of 
nothing different from labour.

Diego






----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Cockshott" <wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK>
To: <OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 4:30 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics


> 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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