Re: [OPE-L] Truncating Marx

From: Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Tue Sep 11 2007 - 21:37:22 EDT

Quoting David Laibman <dlaibman@SCIENCEANDSOCIETY.COM>:

>    Finally, I must agree with Ian and register a skeptical note
> concerning Fred's attempt to distinguish between simultaneous and
> (non-TSS) sequential value determination.  If we tell the Vol. III, ch.
> 9 story about pooling-and-redistribution of surplus value, we get the
> constant elements of constant capital story that Fred elevates into
> "Marx's method."  But no matter what you call it, you must, I think,
> confront the question: what happens next?  After surplus value is
> redistributed and production prices formed, the elements of constant
> capital take on new values (based on the newly formed prices of
> production).  What now prevents *another* round of
> pooling-and-redistribution from taking place?  Again, you *either* have
> to say, well, too much "time" has passed,.and things move on: technical
> change, social change, etc.  Then we are back into the empirical record,
> untheorized.  (Let's not worry about what the TSS-ers say; I dislike
> textualism applied to Marx; even more so, to TSSI!)  *Or* you let
> temporal iterations of pooling-and-redistribution proceed, to a second
> and third round and beyond, holding real-historical change in abeyance
> by means of theory, and you have, in the limit, the much-maligned
> simultaneous solution.

No, David, you misunderstand my interpretation.

I argue that constant capital is taken as given, as the actual quantity
of money capital advanced to purchase means of production, assuming the
economy is in equilibrium.  And this actual equilibrium quantity of
money constant capital is equal to the PRICE OF PRODUCTION of the means
of production, not equal to the value of the means of production.

Therefore, constant capital does not have to “take on a new value”
after the distribution of surplus-value has taken place, because
constant capital is already in terms of prices of production.  Constant
capital is equal to the actual equilibrium money capital invested,
which is equal to the price of production of the means of production.
This actual quantity of money constant capital is taken as given and
becomes a “determining factor” in the determination of the prices of
production of the output.  This actual quantity of money constant
capital can be taken as given because it already exists, prior to the
production and sale of the output.  It is “presupposed” “old” value, in
contrast to the new value produced by living labor.

So my interpretation does not result in either of your two options.
There is a third option:  assuming technology does not change, no
further iterations are necessary.  Prices of production as long-run
center of gravity prices are completely determined by the first
distribution of surplus-value.

I hope this helps to clarify.


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