[OPE-L:690] Re: Forms of Tech Change(Digress)

Paul Cockshott (wpc@clyder.gn.apc.org)
Sat, 9 Dec 1995 15:04:08 -0800

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Jerry writes

Paul C.wrote: in [OPE-L:665]:

> The causal mechanism is the way the absolute reduction
> in profit induced by technical change reduces the
> rate of accumulation and thus slows the rate of rise of
> the organic composition.
The above directly contradicts Paul's argument in [OPE-L:664].

Paul now replies
I think not.
What I am saying is that one can demonstrate the falling rate
of profit in abstraction from technological change. The level
that one should consider it is the value composition of capital.
If one considers it at the level of the technical composition
the level of abstraction is wrong, and the whole argument
becomes unnecessarily complicated. But if one insists on
trying to deal with it at this level, one can show, by means
of a more elaborate argument, of which Andrews is a possible
example, that the law still holds.

In what you quote from me above, I should have said that the
reduction in profit lowers the upper bound on the rate of
accumulation, and thus lowers the upper bound of the rate of
rise of the organic composition.

But this argument only has to be gone into to satisfy those,
who, by considering things at the technical level, think that
the cheapening of the elements of constant capital will offset
the law. So long as one considers the accumulation of social
capital as a whole, all that exists are the value relations.
At this level the law is easy to see.