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

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Sun Mar 18 2007 - 15:19:45 EDT

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

> Quoting ajit sinha <sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM>:
> > Ajit:
> > How much is your M, Fred? Just tell me how much is
> > your M. If you are going to begin your theory with
> a
> > given M, you need to know how much it is. I'm not
> > asking for any explanation, just tell me how much
> it
> > is. Where do you get your data for M? If you are
> > unable to tell us how much is your M, then how
> could
> > you claim that M increases to (M + dM)? Just think
> > about it?
> M is whatever it is in the real capitalist economy.
> With unlimited
> resources, one could estimate M.  But this is not
> necessary for the
> theory.  M is an actual magnitude, which exists
> prior to the production
> of the output, and which can be taken as given as
> such, whatever it is.
>   M is divided into C and V.  The actual C, whatever
> it is, becomes one
> component of the total price of commodities.  The
> actual V, whatever it
> is, is subtracted from new-value to determine S.
> The variables in the
> theory represent these actual magnitudes, even
> though we don’t know
> what these magnitudes are.
You don't need any resource to answer my very simple
question. If a student of yours asks you how much is
the GDP of the USA in 2006, I would guess you don't
tell him/her that it would need billions of dollars of
resources to answer your question. You would either
direct the student to National income data or tell the
student the principle of calculating the GDP. I gave
you one example and asked you just tell me how much is
your empirically given M in this example. You are
simply unable to tell me. Let us suppose you don't
like my example, then you construct your own example
and explain to me what you mean by "empirically given"
M with which your theory begins with. If you cannot do
even this much, then it is obvious that your theory is
still born.
> The theory concludes that S is proportional to
> surplus labor, even
> though we don’t know what these actual magnitudes
> are.  From this
> conclusion, one can explain other important
> phenomena of capitalist
> economies, such as the conflict over the working
> day, the conflict over
> the intensity of labor, inherent technological
> change, etc.
I'll believe the horoscope in a cheap magazine 100
times more than anything you claim to tell from your
theory. You don't seem to understand that you cannot
add, subtract, multiply and divide and derive any kind
of results from entities, which you yourself claim you
don't know what their magnitudes are.
> >
> > Yes, I am definitely distinguishing between prices
> of
> > inputs and prices
> > of outputs.  There is not simultaneous
> determination
> > in Marx’s
> > theory,
> > but rather sequential determination.  The prices
> of
> > the inputs (total
> > prices, not unit prices) are taken as given in the
> > determination of the
> > prices of the outputs (again total prices, not
> unit
> > prices), and most
> > importantly in the determination of the total
> > surplus-value.
> > ________________________
> > Ajit:
> > I'm sure I didn't go to the same school as you
> did.
> > But I, for the life of me, can't understand what
> is
> > this "total prices". What do you understand by the
> > concept of price?
> I am actually using “total price” in two different
> senses, and I should
> be clearer about that.  I usually mean the total
> price of all the
> commodities produced in the economy as a whole
> (roughly equal to
> nominal GDP, minus non-business sectors, plus the
> cost of intermediate
> goods).
What do you mean "plus cost of intermediate goods"?
You calculate the cost of same intermediate goods 10
times if the final goods production goes through 10
different sectors? If, yes, then what kind of concept
is this, and if not, then how is it different from
nominal GDP?
But in the paragraph quoted above, I used
> “total price” to
> mean GDP (plus …) for a single industry, in order to
> distinguish it
> from the unit price of the commodity produced in
> that industry.  It
> really should be called something like “industry
> revenue” or “industry
> GDP”.  Prices of production in Marx’s theory are
> these “industry
> revenues”; they are not unit prices.
What is this (plus ...)? And what could be GDP for a
single industry? GDP can only be defined for the macro
economy and not single industry. If you want to say
gross or net revenue of a firm or a sector, say that.
Why confuse the matter by using muddled up language.
Now, if by "total price" you mean "total revenue"
(even though you don't clarify whether you mean gross
or net), it should be clear to anybody the that total
gross revenue is nothing but quantity of goods sold
multiplied by its price and the net revenue is nothing
but total gross revenue minus total quantity of
constant capital used in the production process
multiplied by their prices plus the depreciation of
fixed capital plus the total wage bill. This is the
only way a firm or an industy satistics of total
revenue is arrived at. It makes no sense to say it is
> > Ajit:
> > If you don't have the data (in principle) then all
> > this talk about "given" and "empirically existing"
> is
> > pure non-sense.
> I could have the data IN PRINCIPLE.
Then give me the PRINCIPLE. No unnecessary talk.
> >> 3.  N is determined by the product of SNLT (L)
> and
> >> the
> >> MELT (m), both
> >> of which are also taken as given:
> >>
> >>        N  =  m L
> >> ______________________
> >> Ajit:
> >> Who gave you m?
> > m in Capital is determined by the value of gold,
> which
> > is taken as
> > given (it is equal to the inverse of the value of
> a
> > unit of gold).
> > Without commodity money, the determination of m is
> > more problematic.  I
> > have written about this issue, and also discussed
> it
> > on OPEL, but I
> > would like to set this issue aside for now, and
> keep
> > the focus on the
> > given C and V.
> > _______________________
> > Ajit:
> > But who is talking about Capital, the book? I want
> to
> > talk to you not Marx. You have introduced the
> little m
> > not Marx, and all your variables become non-sense
> > without the knowledge of the value of m. So it is
> > legitimate for anybody to ask you, how do you get
> your
> > m?
> I myself am talking about Capital the book.  I am
> talking about my
> interpretation of Marx’s theory in Capital.  Marx
> did not use the
> algebraic symbol m, but he certainly did use the
> concept.  For example,
> in Chapter 7 of Volume 1 (the most important chapter
> in the book), m is
> assumed to be 0.5 shillings per hour (because it is
> assumed that it
> takes two hours to produce a shilling of gold).  As
> determined by the
> equation (N = m L), with a working day of 6 hours,
> the new value
> produced is 3 shillings, and with a working day of
> 12 hours, the new
> value produced is 6 shillings.
But Fred, it's been more than 100 years since Marx is
dead. Let's suppose God gave Marx the value of m just
like he gave ten commandments to Moses. But that m was
for pound sterling. You live in a dollar world, so you
need to know how in PRINCIPLE one can learn the value
of m. Otherwise you will have to admit that the
meaningfullness of all the concepts of Marx including
the concept of surplus value went to grave with him
for good. So again I ask you a simple question: tell
me the PRINCIPLE by which you come to know the value
on m. Cheers, ajit sinha

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