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

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Fri Mar 23 2007 - 12:30:12 EDT

I argue that the quantities of money capital that are taken as given in
the beginning do not change (in magnitude) as the theory moves to lower
levels of abstraction, but rather these given (and unchanging)
magnitudes are more fully explained, in stages. <<<<<<<<<
and in another post, you wrote:
> >>>>>>>
Marx's theory begins with the aggregate totals, as I have described. <<<<

Hi Fred:

But, Marx's theory doesn't begin with the General Formula for Capital
(GFC), much less the "aggregate totals" in the GFC.

To "begin with", *before* you have a given quantity of money capital, you
have a quantity of money (M) which can be used for the purchase of C. It
is only with the purchase of C (in the form of V and C) that M is
validated as *money capital*.  Before then, it exists only *potentially*
as capital.   Hence, there is the transformation of *money into capital*
(Vol. 1, Part 2) rather than only the transformation of money capital.
Rather than thinking of all of the steps in the GFC as "given" Marx
went out of his way to highlight the possible discontinuities  and
disruptions in each step along the process (also important for his
rejection of Say's Law).

Moreover, *before* you have the M in the General Formula for
Capital (GFC) you have a total quantity of money in the system.  *What
fraction of the total is the M?*  100% or less?  Recall that even
*before* Marx presents the GFC (Ch. 4) he explains *hoarding*
(Ch. 3, Section 3, sub-section a).  If there is *any* hoarding, then, it
follows that  what you call the "aggregate total"  (M) that enters the
GFC *can not equal the aggregate quantity of money*.  So, _even
before_  Marx has presented the GFC he has recognized (and indeed,
emphasized) that the total quantity of money can not and does not become
transformed into money capital and that therefore the total quantity of
money that enters the GFC is not a given.

I think that this is the most important advance in Diego's recent work
- developing Marx's theory beyond Capital to lower levels of
abstraction, at which the initial given (and unchanging) magnitudes of
C and V are explained more fully. <<<<<<<<<<<

Which work(s)  by Diego are you referring to?

In solidarity, Jerry

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