[OPE-L:385] Re: Clarification re price/value theory

Paul Cockshott (wpc@clyder.gn.apc.org)
Tue, 31 Oct 1995 13:42:45 -0800

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But this was definitely not Marx's view. He affirmed the prima facie
contradiction, its importance for the disintegration of the Ricardian
school, and tried to work it out. When he deals with the transformation
in Ch. 9, Vol. III, he is dealing with *quantitative* discrepancies. The
text notes this clearly. Also noted in the text is that he is
abstractingfrom changes in the monetary expression of value. Thus he
says that a change in total price is always to be explained by a change
in total value--but of course he is not referring to a mere change in the
monetary expression of these values.
I am sure that Andrew is right here, that in Ch 9 V3, he was concerned
with the quantitative discrepancies between prices of production and
prices that would operate were the simple labour theory of value
to operate. To my mind though, the question at issue is whether
systematic discrepancies of the sort that he attempts to explain
there are in fact significant and abiding features of capitalist
economies. Such systematic discrepancies, if they exist, would need
a deterministic transformation process to produce them.

Systematic discrepancies have to be distinguished from random
fluctuations such as may be caused by interruptions in supply,
imbalances of supply and demand etc. These would lead to discrepancies
between value and monetary exchange values quite appart from
any theory of prices of production.