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

From: Pen-L Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Sun Mar 25 2007 - 10:08:09 EDT

Quoting ajit sinha <sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM>:

> --- Pen-L Fred Moseley <fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU> wrote:
>> A very brief summary:
>> 1.  S = N  - V
>>       = mL - mLn      (where Ln = V/m)
>> 2.  R = S /(C + V)
>> 3.  PPi = (Ci + Vi)(1 + R)
>>     PPi might also be called "gross industry reveune"
>> This is sequential determination (from the macro to
>> the micro),
>> not circular reasoning.  C, V (and Ci and Vi), L and
>> m are
>> taken as given, and from these N, S, R and PPi are
>> derived.
>> Comradely,
>> Fred
> _____________________________
> Okay, this is the last time for sure. Your first
> equation:
> (1) S = mL - mLn
> The traditional "Sraffian" interpretation of surplus
> value is
> (1') S' = L - Ln. So let me multiply both side of (1')
> with m (whatever m happens to be), which gives us:
> (1'') mS' = mL - mLn. Clearly your S = mS'. So up till
> now all you have done is to multiply "Sraffian"
> surplus value equation with a constant on both side of
> the equation. Now to  your equation 2:
> (2) R = S/(C+V). You say, you take (C+V) as given, say
> equal to M. Let us suppose that the "Sraffian" labor
> measure of C and V is given by C' and V'. According to
> your definition of m:
> mC' = C, and mV' = V, in any case, m(C'+V') = (C+V).
> Thus the "Sraffian" rate of profit, R' = S'/(C'+V') is
> exactly equal to your R = S/(C+V). Now to your
> equation 3:
> (3) PPi = (Ci + Vi)(1+R). Again the "Sraffian"
> counterpart of your eq. (3) is given by:
> PPi' = (Ci' + Vi')(1 + R'). Note that R' = R. Now you
> claim that (Ci + Vi) is given as Mi; but again, given
> your definition of m, PPi = mPPi', Ci = mCi', and Vi =
> mVi'. Thus again your equation 3 is nothing but
> multiplying the "Sraffian" prices of production
> equation by m on both sides of the equation.
> Now, you must know that by multiplying any equation
> with any constant on both side of the equation leaves
> the equation as it is. All you have done up there is
> to multiply the well established "Sraffian" equations
> with m on both sides. This is why you keep saying it
> does not matter what m happens to be. Now I understand
> why. If you think you are saying anything different
> from the well established "Sraffian" position, you
> will have to show that your (Ci+Vi) does not have to
> be equal to m(Ci'+Vi').

No, because the two definitions of Ln are not the same.  The Sraffian
interpretation of Marxfs definition of Ln is the labor-time required
to produce the means of subsistence (Lms).  My interpretation of
Marxfs definition of Ln is the labor-time required to produce a money
equivalent to the variable capital, i.e. equal to the money wages paid
to workers (Lw = V / m).  These two definitions of Ln will in general
not be equal because the variable capital (or the money wages) is equal
to the price of the means of subsistence, which in general is not
proportional to the labor-time required to produce the means of
subsistence; i.e. V = Pms ‚ mLms.

Therefore, I do not simply multiply a Sraffian equation by m.  I have a
different equation, because the two definitions of Ln are different.

Plus, my equation for the rate of profit (equation (2)) is not the same
as the Sraffian determination of the rate of profit, both for the
reason given above, and also because Sraffian theory determines the
rate of profit simultaneously with prices of production, not prior to
prices of production.

And, similarly, my equation for prices of production (equation (3)) is
also not the same as the Sraffian determination of prices of
production, for the same two reasons.

> You also must have noticed that in your latest
> "sequencial" determination, you did not start with a
> given M.

Implicitly, M was taken as given, because C and V were explicitly taken
as given, and M = C + V, as I have said many times.  I was trying to
present a gvery brief summaryh of Marxfs logic of sequential
determination, without having to repeat all the steps every time.

> When logical consistency was called for, you
> had no option than to fall back on the "Sraffians".

Consistency does not require Sraffian theory.  Marxfs theory, properly
understood, also provides logical consistency.  The argument for
consistency in my last message was not based on any Sraffian equation;
it was based on the same equations which express Marxfs theory which I
have presented many times, this time in abbreviated form.


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