[OPE-L:388] Re: Clarification re price/value theory

akliman@acl.nyit.edu (akliman@acl.nyit.edu)
Tue, 31 Oct 1995 15:02:58 -0800

[ show plain text ]

Paul C. and I seem to be going around in circles. I maintained that if
one holds to the determination of value by labor-time, one needs to be
able to account for differences between surplus-value produced and profit
received by individual industries. Paul said, yes, but we need facts to
do so. I replied that specific deviations were not my concern; one must
be able theoretically to account for the existence of deviations per se,
and that facts won't help with this. Paul replied that the existence of
deviations per se is not an issue, since surplus-value is a value magnitude,
while profit is an exchange-value magnitude. I responded that this was a
legitimate theory, but not Marx's. Paul has just acknowledged that this
is correct, but reiterates his contention (about which I'm agnostic at this
point) that the deviations aren't systematic.

Help! We're back to specific deviations vs. the existence of deviations as
such. All I can do is reaffirm that any and all deviations must be able
to be explained without violating the law of value but, indeed, on the
basis of it. But do we have to go round and round? Isn't it clear that
(a) surplus-value and profit are not quantitatively incommensurable, and
that any and all differences must be explained in general theoretical terms,

(b) one is a "value" quantity and the other an "exchange-value" quantity, in
which case the ONLY kind of value/price relationship concerns RELATIVE values
and prices, and the specific correlations become all-important?

And isn't it clear that Marx maintained (a)?