[OPE-L:1171] The Real Fundamental Marxian Theorem

Alan Freeman (100042.617@compuserve.com)
Wed, 21 Feb 1996 02:04:50 -0800

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The Real Fundamental Marxian Theorem

1) Measured in the value which money represents in exchange,
all sources of variation in money profit during the course
of the entire cycle M-C-P...C'-M' can be resolved into three
distinct, independent, additive components:

A. the surplus value, a function only of the time worked and
the value of the money wage.

B. the mass of the sector-by-sector differences between the
values of sales and the prices of sales, isomorphic under
addition to the masses of realised superprofits and
projectively equivalent to the sector-by sector value
transfers effected by circulation;

C. monetary inflation, measured in pounds per hour, between
the time of purchase and the time of sale.

2) Individual differences B between the sales and the value of each
sector sum to zero across all sectors, that is, the capitalist
class (first equality);

3) Individual differences between the profit and the surplus value
of each capital likewise sum to zero across the capitalist class
(second equality);

4) The only value which can change in circulation is the value of the
money wage. Total profit, like total surplus-value, is therefore
independent of the value of all purchases of the capitalist class
except the value of labour power.

5) Total profit depends only on the magnitude of V and the time worked
by the labour power purchased with V.

6) Hence, it is correct and legitimate to study surplus value as
Marx does in Volume I, on the assumption that B is zero on a sector-
by-sector basis, and C = 0 (constant value of money), since the
relaxation of these two assumptions cannot change the total magnitude
of profit or surplus value, the subject of Volume I and the issue
at stake in assessing where surplus value originates.


Note 1: Marx does not relax the assumption C=0 in discussing the transformation
problem, and a fully general treatment requires this extension.

Note 2: In passing to the continuous case, which Marx does not do, expressions
such as 'value' should be replaced by expressions such as 'rate of value creation'.

Note 3: Some subsequent discussion on the value of money since LVB1 calls for
further clarity. A separate note follows.