[OPE-L:1009] Re: Allin's question in OPE-L 985

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Thu, 8 Feb 1996 08:50:26 -0800

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On the point as it stands I have no disagreement; the
conventional definition v = vA+L (actually Tugan-Baranowsky's,
tho' better known as Bortkiewicz's) does 'define values
independent of prices'.


However, I would point out that the problems with this definition arise
earlier than Volume III...; If one adopts v=vA+L, then *any* departure of
prices from values leads to contradictions of the type expressed in the
traditional Transformation Problem.

For instance, if we exclude rent from the definition of the value of the
inputs used in producing a commodity, then in general profit and surplus
value will not be equal -- the rent will be conceived as a share-out of
surplus value, which is then greater than profit. (To paraphrase Alan's

I don't have a problem with this. I have always thought of rent (strict
sense) as a component of surplus value; and I have always assumed that the
problem of "ensuring the equality of total profit and total surplus value"
was posed in abstraction from rent.

Writ: "We shall be concerned with [landed property] only in so far as a
portion of the surplus-value produced by capital falls to the share of the
landowner" (Capital, III, 614).