Re: [OPE] (no subject)

From: Ian Wright <>
Date: Thu Sep 03 2009 - 13:05:40 EDT

Hi Duccio

>    Generally speaking, there are three ways to afford it. Capital can be
> valued: i) at its present replacement cost, at current prices, influenced by
> current income distribution (Wicksell); ii) at its historical cost
> (‘antecedent labour’, provided that it is known and well defined), plus
> cumulated interests on it (a retrospective computation, the ‘perpetual
> inventory’ method used by statisticians and by E.F. Denison); iii) as a
> stock of productive value capacity, that is at its capacity to create a
> future income stream, reckoned at unknown future market prices and properly
> discounted (a perspective method, used by Marshall, Walras and Fisher). In
> my opinion, Marx correctly chose to use the first method.
>    Now, if you agree, the point seems to me to be a somewhat restricted one.
> Did Marx use current social prices (SNLT) or current market prices? And is
> replacement cost a simple and univocally defined entity? And is Marx’s SNLT
> definition used in the 1st volume of Capital the same as that used in the
> 3rd volume?

I am perhaps coming at this issue from a different starting point,
specifically the gravitation toward natural prices under conditions of
a constant technique; and for now, to keep the discussion simple,
under the assumption of simple commodity production (i.e., no profit
income or rent). Under these circumstances the Classical authors would
say that natural prices are proportional to labor-values. What is the
meaning of these labor-values? Are they replacement real-costs, or
historical real-costs, or what?

I think SNLT is the same in the 1st and 3rd volumes of Capital if you
mean to refer to the sections in the 3rd volume where Marx discusses
how social demand affects the "socially necessary" labor-time. These
definitions of SNLT are consistent, I believe.

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Received on Thu Sep 3 13:09:23 2009

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