From: Dave Zachariah (davez@KTH.SE)
Date: Wed Jan 09 2008 - 17:49:40 EST
I am not criticizing Marx; I have no objections to the quote that Howard gave. My only point was to force the terminology to be more precise: If one claims that "capital is a relation" then what precisely, if anything, does "accumulation" mean? Depending on the use of "capital" it can mean the growth of 1. a certain quantity of money. 2. the means of production. 3. a relation. (1) is very superficial. For instance, a growth in debt of one agent to another would constitute accumulation of capital. It is possible to quantify, but as Paul C mentions it is a slippery concept. (2) may at first seem problematic because it is a heterogeneous collection of goods, i.e. a vector, but this is not a problem if one measures its total labour-value. Note, however, that a socialist economy would also "accumulate capital" in this sense. Therefore, as Ian mentions, it is important to distinguish (1) and (2) as "money-capital" and "real capital" respectively. (3) I found ambiguous and tried to answer using set theory, which essentially means a growth in the workforce employed by capitalist firms. It seems like Paul Z had a similar use in mind. This is quantifiable too and in is the long-run bounded by population dynamics. Finally, in an article Paul Z also suggests that capital should be measured by the rate of exploitation, but this is hard to claim to be an accumulation of some quantity. //Dave Z on 2008-01-09 18:54 Dogan Goecmen wrote: > Dave, we seem to need some clarifications here. > Marx defines capital explicitly as relation because isolated approach > would not make any sense. > So for example an approach to capital without considering labour would > not make any sense. > If you are arguing against Marx's conception of capital please make it > explicit so we know how to > approach your claims. Methodologically, relational approach goes back > to Leibniz, Smith, Hegel and Marx - not to Descartes. > Dogan > > > > -----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung----- > Von: Dave Zachariah <davez@KTH.SE> > An: OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU > Verschickt: Mi., 9. Jan. 2008, 18:40 > Thema: Re: [OPE-L] glossary for V1 of _Capital > > on 2008-01-09 15:53 Paul Zarembka wrote: > > I don't think so but I suppose this is clear enough from my messages. > > Paul > > > > --On 1/9/2008 3:23 PM +0100 Dave Zachariah wrote: > > > >> But if one says that capital *is* a relation, then "capital > >> accumulation" > >> --- by definition a quantitative process --- loses its meaning and > >> Marxist > >> economic theory will be obscured. > >> > > Ok, I know you disagree. But then if capital is by itself a relation, > what does it mean to "accumulate relations"? Can an agent do so or only > the economic system? > > Relations are subsets of cartesian products between sets of agents. Then > according to the argument above, "capital accumulation" suggests that > the cardinality of relation (set) that constitutes capital is increasing. > > //Dave Z > ------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Bei AOL gibt's jetzt kostenlos eMail für alle! Was es sonst noch > umsonst bei AOL gibt, finden Sie hier heraus *AOL.de* <http://www.aol.de>.
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