[OPE-L:1301] Re: Labor and Language

akliman@acl.nyit.edu (akliman@acl.nyit.edu)
Mon, 4 Mar 1996 11:15:35 -0800

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a reply to Paul C., ope-l 1291:

TSS, coined by Gil Skillman (though I may have had a hand in it) stands
for "Temporal Single-System." Temporal is self-explanatory. Single-
System expresses the interdependence of value and price in our interpretation
of Marx's value theory: values depend partly on (input) prices, while
(output) prices depend partly on the "value" rate of profit and, generally,
the extraction of value and surplus-value in capitalist production. Single-
system is in opposition to the "Two-System" view of Bortkiewicz, et al., that
values and prices are self-contained, divergent systems, and that Marx erred
in "failing to keep separate rigourously enough the two principles of value
calculation and price calculation" (quote as remembered, from Bortkiewicz
1952 [1907] "Value and Price in the Marxian System" (p. 9?).

In the case of constant capital that lasts more than one period, I interpret
Marx (e.g., Vol. I, p. 318 Vintage) as saying that a fractional share of
the pre-production reproduction cost of the capital is transferred to the
value of the product. For example, imagine a machine that lasts 4 periods
and which has the following values: Vo = 40, V1 = 28, V2 = 16, V3 = 12.
Then the value transferred to the products that emerge at times 1, 2, 3,
and 4 is VT1 = 40/4 = 10, VT2 = 28/4 = 7, VT3 = 16/4 = 4, and VT4 = 12/4 =
3. In sum, a value of 24 has been transferred through "regular" deprecia-
tion. The remaining value of 40 - 24 = 16 is moral depreciation which, as
I interpret Marx, the firm does not recoup in sales (cet. par.), i.e., a
capital loss.

I'm not quite sure of John Ernst's view of this; he can speak for himself.
Alan Freeman's interpretation is rather different. There's a tricky issue
concerning the difference between a production period and an accounting
period regarding which I don't fully understand his interpretation, so I'll
also have to let him speak for himself on this issue, so that I don't
misrepresent his view.

BTW, my interpretation definitely DOES imply that value is NOT a conserved
substance. It is conserved in *exchange*, but physical consumption and
destruction of the use-value containing the value also destroys the value,
and value is not conserved through technological change, either. There
can be moral depreciation/devaluation of even the TOTAL social capital.
For instance, if we assume a single sector capitalism, the above example
would imply that, rather than a value of 16 "going somewhere," it has
been annihilated.

Paul--I'll be very interested in seeing what you come up with. Please keep
me informed.

P.S. There are other TSS folks, too--Eduardo Maldonado-Filho has not
addressed this issue, to my knowledge. There's Ted McGlone, who I think
agrees with me. There's Mino Carchedi and his sometime co-author, Werner
de Haan, whose views again, I won't try to represent. There's Paolo
Giussani, who hasn't addressed this issue, to my knowledge.

Andrew Kliman