RE: [OPE] Services and capital accumulation

Date: Fri Jan 09 2009 - 09:11:59 EST

I had written:
I take capital accumulation to mean the following: it is madepossible when and because capitalists reinvest capital (in the form of money capital) to purchase additional constant capital and variable capital. What limits the rate of accumulation, in the firstinstance, is the rate of unproductive consumption........
Paul B replied:
> the consumption of both capitalists and workers as individuals is unproductive.
> It is the exchange of commodities against revenue and not against capital.
Hi Paul:
I don't recall,workers' consumption being designated as unproductive consumption
but I see your point. There are certain differences, though, between the consumption
of workers and capitalists as classes as it relates to accumulation. Before
accumulation can proceed capitalists have to decide on the rate of re-investment
of capital (and this, of course, depends on that rate and mass of surplus value
and profits). Any monies which are used for the individual consumption of
capitalists are monies which can _not_ be used for the purpose of accumulation.
In deciding how much money to re-invest, capitalists are in a sense deciding on
the level of individual consumption for workers as well (of course, it's not
entirely their decision: the wage level is a consequence of class struggle and
is also related to whether there is a change in the general level of prices).
Yet, capital can continue to accumulate with decreasing individual
consumption by capitalists; there are social and natural limits to a decline
in the individual consumption of workers as it relates to accumulation. E.g.
if workers consumption is dramatically decreased, it can decrease
their productivity which can then come back to negatively impact
the rate of profit and accumulation. Since capitalists are not productive,
there is not a symmetry between the effects on accumulation of a
decline in consumption by the two classes.
> Your statement is thus incorrect since the reproduction of the working class is a precondition for the expansion of capital not a limit on it.
See above.
> the absolute conception of a 'limit' that you express is inappropriate.
I don't recall suggesting an 'absolute' limit.
> The state itself can take over sections of industry and run them capitalistically. it is the use of money
> as revenue rather than as capital that is critical here, not as you say 'transfer' of money 'as revenues to the state'.
What's wrong with "transfer"? Isn't taxation a transfer of revenues to the state?
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Fri Jan 9 09:20:34 2009

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