Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Fri Mar 09 2007 - 09:35:39 EST

--- Pen-L Fred Moseley <fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU> wrote:

> Hi Ajit,
> It is not just that the total surplus-value it
> determined prior to the
> rate of profit and prices of production, but also
> that the
> predetermined total surplus-value (S) is taken as
> given in the
> determination of the rate of profit, according to:
>       R  =  S / C
> And then the rate of  profit so determined is taken
> as given in the
> determination of prices of production, according to:
>       Pi  =  Ki (1 + R)
> In other words, the rate of profit in Marx’s theory
> is NOT determined
> simultaneously with prices of production, as in
> Sraffa’s theory.
> You may disagree with Marx’s logical method (as
> summarized above), but
> I don’t think it can be denied that this is a very
> important
> methodological issue.  Marx’s logical method is
> different from
> Sraffa’s, and an evaluation of the logical
> consistency of Marx’s theory
> should be keenly aware of these differences.
> Comradely,
> Fred
Hi, Fred!

First let me clarify one thing. You are simply wrong
about Sraffa. Sraffa either takes rate of profits
given from outside, or shows that given wages
expressed in Standard commodity, the rate of profits
is determined independently of any knowledge of
prices. Sraffa is the first person who has rigorously
shown that profit is a non-price phenomenon, which was
a fundamental insight of Marx but Marx could not prove
it but Sraffa did. Sraffa's book has 12 chapters and
not just two, so read on before claiming all kinds of
things in his name.

Secondly, the whole world knows that Marx first gets
value and surplus value and from given surplus value
he derives his rate of profits as r = S/(C+V) and then
goes on to derive his prices of production as
[C(i)+V(i)](1+r). But the whole world also knows that
this derivation has LOGICAL problem. So what is the
big deal about a methodology that has a logical
problem? Cheers, ajit sinha
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