Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

From: Paul Bullock (paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK)
Date: Tue Oct 18 2005 - 07:01:52 EDT

the realisation of surplus value in its different forms is obviously
temporal, the productive worker does not create rent per se. This is the
case for the system as a whole and the individual circuit.

Paul Bullock

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Brown" <A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK>
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 6:16 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

> Hi Michael L. (and all),
> Many thanks for the reply. You wrote:
> "2. Fred, Jerry is right: I was not proposing that surplus value and
> profit are different magnitudes; on the contrary, as Andrew reminds us,
> 'essence must appear' , and I have no reason to think that it appears in
> a different magnitude (except, of course, for the subdivision of surplus
> value). On the other hand, I do not view surplus value as prior in time
> (as opposed to logic) to its form(s). Therefore, for me, distribution
> (including 'transformation') is a logical rather than a temporal
> process. I'm assuming that you
> disagree--- that there is a state in time in which surplus value exists
> prior to its distribution."
> I respond: in my exchange with Rakesh I have been trying to offer an
> important (imo) distinction between system-wide and individual
> perspectives. I think this distinction helpful not only for debates
> regarding value-form theory but also for an aspect of your exchange with
> Fred. You say above that you disagree with the view that surplus value
> exists in time (rather than logic) prior to its distribution. I agree if
> we take a system-wide perspective on surplus value. From this
> perspective then we can see that a large proportion of newly produced
> commodities must generally sell (realising surplus value) if the system
> is to exist at all. But what happens when we take the perspective of any
> one single commodity? From this perspective we are justified in
> presupposing the existence of the system. Given this presupposition then
> it seems to me entirely proper to say the surplus value exists, in an
> important sense, once surplus labour has been performed in production,
> and prior to 'realisation' of the surplus value on the market (it exists
> as C', prior to C'-M'). What needs to be realised by the capitalist is
> the actual existence of the power that surplus value confers, viz. an
> excess of purchasing power, of money, over the initial money advanced.
> This may be a precarious process (it may breakdown thus destroying
> surplus value) but it is not a process of surplus value creation rather
> is a metamorphosis of an already created surplus value from one form to
> another. It takes time.
> I admit that the above is tentative. What I have done is apply the same
> logic to surplus value and its form of appearance (dM) as I did to value
> and its form of appearance (M). I think this must cut some corners and I
> would gladly admit that there is 'a sense' in which surplus value is not
> achieved until dM is realised, even at the individual level. This is a
> complex matter. But it should be clear that it is one thing to note,
> from the perspective of the system, that money, and money categories
> (profit, interest, etc.) must exist simultaneously to value and surplus
> value (essence must appear). This is a fact about the existence of the
> system. It is quite another to consider the temporal (and spatial) path
> taken by any one particular commodity-value. It is surely helpful to
> continually monitor this distinction of perspectives and avoid slipping
> from one to the other without properly respecting the difference between
> them. I suspect such slippage has sometimes occurred in debates re.
> value-form theory.
> Many thanks,
> Andy

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