Re: [OPE-L] interpretations of capital and Marx

From: B.R.Bapuji (brbapuji@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Thu Mar 15 2007 - 12:41:30 EDT

Jerry Levy <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM> wrote:
  Consider the following to take place on the aggregate level.

  Suppose production is continuous rather than only occurring during a
  production period.  This means that capitalists would have already
  had to purchase some quantity of labor power and means of production
  in the form of v and c.  Now suppose that an _additional_ amount of
  money is used to purchase _more_ means of production  (but _not_ also
  more v)  so that there has been an augmentation of the quantity of c.
  Can that _additional_ c be said to represent money that is used to make
  more money?  If not, and you still wish to refer to this additional money
  invested in means of production as capital, then doesn't it follow that capital
  can not be defined _simply_ as money which is used to make more
  The 'additinal_c' cannot be increased without increasing 'v' because it is 'v' [in other words the labour (-power) of the workers] because it is the ' v ' [in other words labour-(power) of the workers] that transfers the value to the commodity even though you have not increased ' v '. Anyway, since you are supposing that 'additional_v' is not used, we have to analyse the issue like this: Though the capitalist has not used 'additonal_v', he has to resort to an exploitative technique called 'intensification of labour'. In other words, the labourers work with greater intensity than earlier and transfer the value of the 'additional_c' as well. Since he did not pay wages (v) to the workers he gets more surplus value: more than what he would have gotten from the 'v' which transferred the value of the originally invested 'c'. In this context we have to remember three roles played by the workers/living labour: (1) Reproducing the value of the wages [v]. (2) Producing surplus
 value newly/afresh. (3)Transferring the value of the means of labour [c] to the commodity. In view of these three roles which Marx identified, we cannot say that money invested on 'c' is the money that makes more money since intenrally 'capital' [big C] has two aspects: one aspect of being constant and another aspect of being variable.

  [In more formal terms, suppose that the magnitude of v stays the same
  and the magnitude of c increases.  This is a 'special case' of where the
  organic composition of capital increases since the OCC has increased
  here where there has _only_ been an increase in the magnitude of c.]
  The response to this comment is the same as above. The increase in the magnitude of 'c' in no way increases the value of 'c' but it is the 'v' (already existing 'v') which transfers the value of the additional c also.

  [Although I hadn't thought of it at the time, I think this discussion is
  related to one that we had years ago with Paul Z about how to
  define the accumulation of capital.  But, I'm not sure if you are familiar
  with his writings on that topic.]
   We read one of the papers by Paul on accumulation (but mainly based or referring to Rosa Luxumberg) several years ago. But do not exactly remember whether this issue was discussed in that paper.

B.R.Bapuji, Professor,
Centre for Applied Linguistics & Translation Studies,
University of Hyderabad, Central University post office,
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