[OPE-L] More accurate representation of surplus value conversion than Marx's Chp. 24

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sat Jul 28 2007 - 12:06:38 EDT

> Paul, I think the answer to your puzzle is that this is a hypothetical
> example that is not intended to be realistic.  This is a theoretical
> point.  Why should the numerical example have to be realistic? ...


Thanks for your response, which came over as I was doing some calculations. 
As purely a theoretical point, you may be mostly correct (I'm unsure).

But, consider the following, which represents my first opinion about how 
Chp. 24 could have started consistent with the Chp. 9 data:

     "Using our data for mule spinning presented in Chapter 9, at the end 
of the first year our capitalist in the cotton spinning industry has 4160 
of surplus value [Engels makes this actual calculation, Vol. 3, Chp. 4, p. 
76, Intern.].  We do not consider capitalist consumption and focus only 
upon expanded reproduction.

     "This sum of 4160 is utilized during the next year as follows: 3441 
is used to buy new spindles on Jan. 1 for the next year's expanded 
operations, while 90 is used during the year for variable capital, and 
629 for constant capital consumption.  The ratio of 38:1 for the 
composition of capital is preserved, as is the operating ratio 7:1 
[2182/312, Engels, p. 75, turnover of wages included].

     "The rate of surplus value is 1.53 [Engels, p. 75]"

Remark: In Marx's illustration in Chp. 24, s/v is in fact unity, and that 
lower rate would reduce the initial level of surplus value; Marx used 
2000:  At 2000 s, additional variable capital would be reduced to 43 
available, compared to Marx's 400 (for simplicity, I'm ignoring here 
certain other differences in the numbers such as Marx's illustration of the 
ratio for operating costs c:v as 4:1, not the 7:1 of Chp. 9).

Conclusion:  The growth potential is MUCH less than the illustration 
beginning in Chp. 24 would suggest.  I have no problem with Marx doing an 
illustration in Chp. 24 which does not exactly follow Chp. 9's data, but 
not so great a distinction as is the case and without proper accounting for 
the need to buy a new set of spindles (apart from wear and tear of the old) 
for any expanded reproduction.

Also, there is a major impact when we get to considering his schemes of 
reproduction which is no better than the Chp. 24 illustration.

Does anyone see errors in my calculations as such?  Or anything else I've 

Paul Z.

(Vol.23) THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11-2001  "a benchmark in 9/11 research"
         Research in Political Economy, P.Zarembka,ed, Elsevier hardback
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