Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Thu Oct 13 2005 - 23:37:43 EDT

Andrew wrote:

>Michael, as you know surplus value is initially defined as M'-M [ch.4,
>vol. 1]. Prior to this it has been shown that money is the 'appearance
>form' [not just 'form' but '*appearance* form'] of value. After the
>initial definition we do indeed find that M'-M is the 'appearance form'
>of surplus labour. So I guess I'd want to say that surplus value is,
>from the outset, understood to have both visible and invisible aspects
>rather than to counter pose an 'invisible' surplus value to a 'visible'
>set of 'outer' categories (profit, interest, rent).
>Would you agree?

         I'm not certain about the significance 
you attribute to 'appearance form' vs form. Yes, 
capitalist exploitation must take the form of 
money. Are you suggesting that this undercuts the 
distinction between the inner structure of 
capital and the surface phenomena that for Marx 
are related as the invisible to the visible? 
Recall, eg., the quotes from Vol III:

>Surplus-value and the rate of surplus-value are… 
>the invisible essence to be investigated, 
>whereas the rate of profit and hence the form of 
>surplus-value as profit are visible surface phenomena (Marx, 1981b: 134).
>Profit is ‘the form of appearance of 
>surplus-value, and the latter can be sifted out 
>from the former only by analysis’ (Marx, 1981b: 
>139).  Profit is ‘a transformed form of surplus 
>value, a form in which its origin and the secret 
>of its existence are veiled and obliterated.’

         in sol,
Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

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