[OPE] RE: The availabilty of labor power in the context of expanded reproduction schemes

From: Paul Cockshott <wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Tue Jul 14 2009 - 02:45:05 EDT

The assumption of extra labour power on hand is only justified during the early stages
of capitalist accumulation as a peasant population is being forced onto the labour market.
The model of expanded reproduction in Vol III is thus similar to Von Neumanns proportional
growth model.
Once labour supplies are limited, capital can only accumulate by raising the organic composition
which implies a non proportional expansion. At this point of course the rate of profit falls.
From: ope-bounces@lists.csuchico.edu [ope-bounces@lists.csuchico.edu] On Behalf Of Damsma, D.F. [D.F.Damsma@uva.nl]
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 9:02 PM
To: ope@lists.csuchico.edu
Subject: [OPE] The availabilty of labor power in the context of expanded reproduction schemes

I am currently investigating whether the assumptions Marx makes for his scheme (model) of expanded reproduction, are dialectically warranted. The last assumption Marx makes is that labor power is always on hand (Mega II/11.1: 801-802; cf. Mega II/12.1: 463). In arguing for the adoption of this assumption, Marx refers back to Capital I. According to our list member Geert Reuten (2004) in one of his contributions to The constitution of Capital: Essays on Volume I of Marx's Capital, however, the argument in Capital I crucially depends on capital's use of labor expulsion techniques and the concomittant rise in the value composition of capital. But in the context of Marx's schemes of reproduction the vcc is assumed to be constant. So, it seems that the argument Marx developed in Capital I cannot be applied in the context of his schemes of reproduction and he needs other grounds to argue for the adoption of this assumption here. But, since Marx's reference is not all that explicit, it may be that he aimed at an other part of Capital I. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Is my analysis correct? Am I missing something? What else could Marx be referring to? Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,


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Received on Tue Jul 14 02:56:40 2009

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