Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

From: Paul Bullock (paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK)
Date: Tue Oct 18 2005 - 14:52:32 EDT

please provide a reference from Marx where he says he is assuming S=D. In
Vol 1 there is a rhetorical question , where he asks roughly:  what
determines price if S=D? However I mean in the presentation of his method.
He certainly, usually, assumes all V and SV will be realised as he
constructs his system eg in the reproduction analysis in Vol 2.  This is NOT
the same thing. In fact recent exchanges have been keen to show that Marx
didn't examine the actually processes of market competition, but rather only
its general existance, and force. Is there not a danger of confusing the
terms appropriate to different stages in analysis here?

Paul B.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fred Moseley" <fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2005 4:57 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

> Mike, thanks very much for your helpful response.  I think we are making
> progress in mutual understanding, and perhaps even in substantial
> agreement.  We shall see.
> On Mon, 17 Oct 2005, michael a. lebowitz 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).
> Good, I am glad that we agree on this point.  Thanks for the
> clarification.  Sorry I misinterpreted you.
> > 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 both agree and disagree.  The transformation is both a logical process
> and a process in time - under the abstract assumption that S = D.
> In Marx's theory of the production of surplus-value in Volume 1of Capital,
> it generally assumed throughout that S = D, except for a few
> non-systematic asides.  Marx repeats this assumption many times.  (I would
> be happy to provide references).  Therefore, the total surplus-value that
> is determined in Volume 1 is an abstract total surplus-value, under the
> assumption that S = D.
> Furthermore, in the theory of the distribution of surplus-value in Volume
> 3, Marx continues to assume that S = D.  Again this assumption is repeated
> many times.  Indeed, the concept of price of production, the central
> concept of Volume 3 assumes equal rates of profit across industries,
> which in turn assumes S = D.
> The analytical framework for Marx's theory of the production and
> distribution of surplus-value is the circulation of capital:
>         M - C ...  P ... C' - M'.
> In Marx's theory, surplus-value is produced in production and
> realized in circulation.  Under the assumption that S = D,
> the total amount of surplus-value realized in circulation
> is = to the abstract total amount of surplus-value produced,
> which is determined in the sphere of production,
> prior to its realization in circulation.  So in this theoretical sense,
> the abstract total surplus-value is determined prior to
> circulation and distribution.
> I do not mean that the ACTUAL total surplus-value, with S not = D, exists
> prior to circulation.  Rather, I mean that the abstract total
> surplus-value that is determined in Marx's theory in Volume 1,
> under the assumption of S = D, is determined prior to the third phase of
> circulation.
> At the same time, I certainly agree that the transformation is a logical
> process.  The total surplus-value is determined logically prior to the
> equalization of profit rates and the further division of the total
> surplus-value into its individual parts.  I have been talking for years
> about "Marx's logical method".  And this logical method includes the
> assumption that S = D in Capital, which in turn implies that the abstract
> total surplus-value is determined in production prior to its realization
> and distribution in circulation.
> Marx planned to analyze realization crises and market prices with S not =
> D beyond Capital, at a lower level of abstraction.  These are of course
> important and crucial phenomena, but they belong to a lower level of
> abstraction than Capital.  Capital assumes S = D in order to explain the
> production and distribution of surplus-value "in its pure state".
> You say that, according to me, "there is a state in time in which
> surplus-value exists prior to its distribution."  I would put it
> differently:  in Marx's theory of the circulation of capital, under the
> assumption of S = D, the abstract total surplus-value is determined prior
> to its distribution in circulation.
> Mike, how much do we agree or disagree?
> Comradely,
> Fred

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