[OPE-L:1251] Re: determination of constant capital

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Wed, 28 Feb 1996 13:31:50 -0800

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> (2) On the concept of surplus product. According to Marx's concept of
> surplus product, there is not a 20 qtr. surplus product in my example,
> even though the yield was 100 qtrs. and outlays were 80 qtrs. At the
> end of either Ch. 9 or Ch. 11 (I forget), he discusses surplus product
> and how to calculate it. According to his concept, the surplus product
> (though measured in corn) is zero.

At the end of ch. 9 Marx says, "We call the portion of the product that
represents surplus-value ... by the name of 'surplus product'". So if
one has a prior commitment to the historic labour-embodied accounting
(which yields a surplus-value of zero in Andrew's example), one will
indeed calculate the surplus product as zero. But in many other places
Marx talks of the surplus product as that portion of the total product
that is in excess of the requirements for reproducing labour-power, and
on that basis there is clearly a postive surplus product in the example,
which in turn casts doubt on the historic-labour accounting procedure.
The passage at the end of ch. 9 does not resolve the question, it just
re-poses it.