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

From: Diego Guerrero (diego.guerrero@CPS.UCM.ES)
Date: Tue Apr 03 2007 - 15:02:02 EDT

Fred, about you point 2 below, I disagree. Production and everything happens
in real time, yes. But knowing this we can fix a moment and capture it and
analyze what is *happening* by means of a snapshot. It is true that M comes
before M' in historical terms, this is so for a new firm. But for an already
existing unit of capital, C'-M' are its sales and M-C its purchases
(including the labour force). They are simultaneous and can be known
everyday. The same for a sector. Surplus labour is been produced at every
moment, and this happens also with profits. Likewise, it is true that M is a
determinant of M', but the opposite is also true. When a firm, a sector or
the whole economy have a market problem, a persistent one, they can react by
cutting their investments and all types of purchases. The rate of increase
of sales and profits can be zero or negative and this can check M-C.

I have insisted in my idea several times.I think that if one wants to follow
Marx in this, outputs and inputs have to be treated differently--but in
logical, not historical terms--, and equally their prices and/or values,
because there is a war of competition concerning the values/prices of the
outputs and not concerning the values/prices of the inputs. Firms can
compete in organizing production in one way or another, but note that this
is a labour process and is made with inputs whose prices don't matter at the
moment. However, the aim of every firm is to get a value/price lower than
the value/price of all its competitors.

Without competition there wouldn't be *transformation* at all.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Pen-L Fred Moseley" <fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU>
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2007 3:40 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] questions on the interpretation of labour values

 And I argue that prices are determined sequentially, not
> simultaneously, because:
> 1.  Commodities are *products of capital*, and the prices of
> commodities are determined as components of capital which are in
> circulation, i.e. as parts of M-C ... P ... C'-M'.
> 2.  This circulation of money capital is a real process, in real
> historical time.  The M exists prior to the M'.  Therefore, the M is
> not determined simultaneously with M', but prior to M'.  The
> already-existing M is a determinant of M'.
> 3.  Simultaneous determination requires the following unrealistic
> assumptions:
> a.  the inputs of means of production and labor-power enter capitalist
> production *without prices*, as mere physical quantities, instead of as
> components of capital, with already-existing prices, which determine in
> part the prices of the outputs.
> b.  all industries must have the same turnover time (so that prices can
> be determined at the same time.
> c.  partially used means of production must be treated as "joint
> products".

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