Re: [OPE-L] accumulation of capital and the working class - actual non existence of variable capital

From: Jerry Levy (jerry_levy@VERIZON.NET)
Date: Thu Jan 10 2008 - 19:09:18 EST

> No V does not figure, or 'reckon'.

Hi Paul C:

How would you logically demonstrate the existence of exploitation
under capitalism and surplus value _without_ reference to the category of variable capital?

Without V, what is your formula for the rate of profit?

> If one employs flow accounting rather than stock accounting, there is a flow of wages, there is a flow of means of production etc, and in this accounting framework it is useful to label the flow of wages as v and the flow of means of production as c, but these distinctions are not applicable to analyzing what has been accumulated, since what has been accumulated is a stock. <

Capital exists as both a stock and a flow.  I think it's one-sided to just conceive of capital (or capital accumulation) in terms of just one or the other.  The problem, I guess, is that these different concepts (and realities) give rise to measurement difficulties that are difficult to deal with in an accounting framework.  I can see this both in terms of practical problems re
the calculation of the technical composition of capital (TCC) and the value and organic compositions of capital. I don't know of anyone who has ever suggested a meaningful way to calculate the TCC, for instance [which is because there are so many problematic conceptual issues associated with the economic meaning and (ir) relevance of the 'units' being measured].

In solidarity, Jerry

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