[OPE-L:1975] Actually existing capitalism

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Fri, 26 Apr 1996 04:42:40 -0700

[ show plain text ]


What I continue to question is the *significance* or 
*centrality* of the case of price-value equivalence to the Marxian 
theory of capitalist exploitation.  Why focus on it at all, given that  
a) as Marx acknowledges, prices typically diverge from values, 
b) surplus value may exist even if price-value disparities arise in Marx's 
canonical case (i.e. there is capitalist production and wage labour,
 but the real wage is not equivalent to the value of labor power) and
 c) some vehicles of capitalist exploitation (i.e. historical circuits of
usury and 
merchant's capital extended to small producers) *require* price-value 
disparities as the basis for capitalist appropriation of newly created value?

Paul ---- Thes are true points, but it is a question of how important they are. Usurers and merchants capital are no longer of great significance, and in practice the correlation between actual prices and values is very high, so Marx's assumptions seem very reasonable approximations to what actually happens. Paul Cockshott

wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk http://www.cs.strath.ac.uk/CS/Biog/wpc/index.html