Re: [OPE] Mastering Marxian Economics

From: Philip Dunn (
Date: Fri Aug 01 2008 - 20:09:43 EDT

On Fri, 2008-08-01 at 10:24 +0200, Dave Zachariah wrote:
> Philip Dunn wrote:
> > Money has two values. The reason for this is that produced commodities
> > and producer commodities are incommensurable in exchange. They have no
> > common measure. Absolute money measures the value of produced
> > commodities. Real money measures the value of producer commodities.
> > There are two disjoint spheres of equal exchange. In a money economy the
> > medium of money ensures that effectively everything exchanges with
> > everything else. Produced commodities exchange equally with produced
> > commodities. Producer commodities exchange equally with producer
> > commodities. But exchange between produced and producer commodities is
> > neither equal nor unequal because they have no common money measure.
> >
> > This incommensurability is what makes surplus value possible.
> >   
> So profits arise, not from unequal, but incommensurable exchange. The 
> problem with this theory is that it obscures the specific mechanism by 
> which surplus labour is extracted under capitalism.

Do you mean "equal exchange" here? Marx posed the problem of how there
could be a surplus under conditions of equal exchange.

I don't address such a mechanism. I just provide an alternative value
accounting framework in which it can be discussed.

The rate of exploitation, as a random variable, is


where J is the valorisation ratio and f is the ratio of the real to the
absolute value of money, equal to aggregate dollar value added over
aggregate dollar wage-bill. Just accounting.

Why it is > 0 I regard as an open question.


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