Re: [OPE-L] monetary macro interpretation

From: Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Thu Jun 08 2006 - 10:39:09 EDT

On Sat, 3 Jun 2006, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> > Fred wrote:
> >
> > In the past, you have said that you agreed with Shaikh's interpretation.

> No, no I don't think the inputs were left in the form of values or
> simple prices.
> Marxists have misread Marx for over a century. I partially agree with
> your argument.

Perhaps there is more agreement between us than I thought.
I hope so.

> But if one accepts the traditional transformation problem,
> Shaikh seems to vindicate Marx just fine.

According to Shaikh's interpretation, the total surplus-value changes in
the transformation of values into prices of production.  Thus the
total surplus-value is no longer determined solely by surplus labor.
Do you think Marx would have been happy with this result?  Or Lexis?
Why are you happy with it.

> Though I don't think your or Shaikh's
> macro understanding of surplus value is macro enough in that it sees
> total surplus
> value as the sum of each firm's surplus value.

And I would say that your understanding is less macro than mine,
because the micro prices of production change the macro total
surplus-value.  Unless you have changed your mind about Shaikh's

> >
> > Rakesh, do you agree or disagree that this is Marx's theory of the total
> > surplus-value?
> But why is this any more a theory of surplus value than I had offered?

Because it identifies the determinants of the total surplus-value -
the total surplus labor, which is the difference between the
total current labor and the total necessary labor.

You simply defined the total surplus-value as the difference between
M' and M, which provides no explanation of the determinants of this

> >
> > Rakesh, do you agree or disagree with this interpretation of Marx's theory
> > of the general rate of profit and prices of production, which is
> > consistent with, and indeed follows from, Lexis' emphasis on the prior
> > determination of the total surplus-value?
> As usual, I have only quibbles with your interpretation since I learned Marx
> as I was reading your interpretations.

Again, I am happy that you have "only quibbles" with my interpretation.
What are the "quibbles", besides "not macro enough".

> But the changes from Shaikh's method are only nominal. I don't see
> the important difference between you and Shaikh. Between you and Shaikh
> and the American economics profession I do see quite a gulf, however.

Of course, the difference between Shaikh and myself are much smaller
than with the rest of the economics profession.  But I still think,
as already discussed, that Shaikh's conclusion that the total
surplus-value changes as a result of the transformation, and is
no longer determined solely by surplus labor, is an important difference.
Shaikh's conclusion is not consistent with the total surplus-value
determined prior to its distribution by the total social and
remaining unchanged as a result of its distribution, and is thus
not consistent with Lexis' interpretation of Marx, which you are
currently emphasizing.

Thanks again.


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