Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

From: Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Sun Oct 23 2005 - 09:20:44 EDT

On Wed, 19 Oct 2005, A.B.Trigg wrote:

> Fred.
 => I agree that Marx was examining the conditions for a normal course. 
> But what about this quote from Capital, volume 2, where Marx examines 
> ‘conditions for the normal course of reproduction, whether simple or 
> on an expanded scale, which turn into an equal number of conditions for 
> an abnormal course, possibilities of crisis, since, on the basis of the 
> spontaneous pattern of production, this balance is itself an accident’ 
> (Marx 1978, p. 571). Isn't it part of Marx's approach in Capital that he 
> undermines the basis for these normal conditions?

Andrew, thanks for your comment.  I agree that fixed capital poses special 
difficulties for balancing S and D, and that Marx considered this to be 
important.  However, in Marx's theory of prices of production in Vol. 3, 
Marx continued to assume equal rates of profit across industries, and thus 
assumed that S = D.  

I think Marx would have returned to the difficulties caused by fixed 
capital in his theory of cycles at a lower level of abstraction.  Marx 
mentioned several times the effect of the reproduction cycle of fixed 
capital on the "industrial cycle'.  

The point I am emphasizing is that, in Marx's theory of prices of 
production in Vol. 3, Marx assumed that the general rate of profit is 
determined prior to prices of production and is determined by the ratio of 
the total surplus-value to the total capital invested, with the total 
surplus-value determined by the prior theory of the production of 
surplus-value at the level of abstractions of capital in general in Vol. 

Andrew, do you agree with this?


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