[OPE-L:2798] CONCEPTION DAY: Part 5: An outline from the past

glevy@pratt.ed (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 02:10:27 -0700 (PDT)

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Just a few days after conception, Paul C sent our small group the

Date: Wed, 9 Aug 1995 18:35:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: glevy@acnet
To: wpc@clyder.gn.apc.org
Cc: djones@uclink.berkeley.edu, ECOPAULZ@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu,
ernst@pipeline.com, michael@ecst.csuchico.edu,
gskillman@mail.wesleyan.edu, JDevine@Imumail.Imu.edu
Subject: Re: p.e. outline/finance capital

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 95 20:54:43 PDT
From: Paul Cockshott <wpc@clyder.gn.apc.org>
To: glevy@acnet.pratt.edu
Subject: Re: p.e. outline/finance capital (fwd)

Some years ago I was involved in a group that
planned to produce an updated textbook of marxian
political economy. It never got very far, but we
did produce an outline and a few chapters. It is
likely that the outline is of more relevance since
the chapters were all on stuff that is already
well covered by Marx.

The suggestions for new stuff went as follows:

14. Competition between capitals, tendancy towards
concentration and centralisation. Formation of monopolies,
reasons for - technical and competitive - effect on rate
of profit.

15. Competition and the costs of realisation, unproductive
and productive wage labour. Illusions of competion, how
it appears that unproductive labour produces sv. Effect
on the rate of profit.

Interest bearing capital, bank capital and how these
arise from the circuits of capital. Credit in general,
formation of rate of interest, relations between interest
rate money supply and rate of profit. Transformation of
money under capitalism - state money, cheques, credit cards.

Share capital, holding companies, credit crises.

Overall mechanisms for crises in the circulation process.

The state as an economic instrument, function of the state
in the economy at different stages of development, mercantilism,
state as force needed for prim acc.

Tax, historical origins. Forms of taxes, direct, indirect,
taxes on capital and land. Effects of these on rate of
surplus value, rate of profit and consumption of different
social classes.

Categories of state unproductive labour. Effects of state
expenditure on overall level of economic activity..
Relation between taxation, expenditure and the money stock.
Limitations on the possible actions of the state. Inflation,
interaction between the state and the contradictions of
accumulation. Types of state expenditure and their
effects on the rates of sv and profit ( welfare spending ).

Capitalism and landed property. Evolution of capitalist
ground rent, absolute and differential, urban, rural and
mineral. Relation between ground rent and accumulation.


International trade.
International value relations.
International money relations and prices.
International capital movements, both the nominal money
movement and the underlying commodity movements.
The imperialist phase of capitalism.
Generalisation of the capitalist mode of production.
Historical prospects for a general crisis of the mode
of production.

State capitalism and the transition to socialism.

General problem of value in the process of abolition
of commodity production.

Question of the specific form of surplus extraction under
state capitalism and socialism.

State finance under state capitalism and socialism.

The material preconditions of the replacement of the
market with the plan.

The abolition of money and the role of labour accounting.

Forms of payment and distribution of consumer goods.

Property relations under state capitalism and socialism.

Human reproduction under socialism.

Hope this is some use as a start.



I asked Paul later about the origins of the above document. Paul gave the
following explanation in [OPE-L:54] dated 9/15/95:

"This was about 1977 that we drew it up, and it was part of a
collective study program involving perhaps a dozen people spread
over 3 countries in the UK. We met bi-monthly and had been working
on conjunctural analysis in order to decide what would be a
sensible form of political action at a time of evident economic
crisis. We collectively read or re-read Capital, and in addition
ran capital study groups around the country. We were engaged in
statistical studies of the evolution of UK capitalism, some of
whose results were very belatedly published by Allin, Greg and
myself in Capital and Class this year.

The focus on the circulation process and the nature of the credit
system came if I recall from the fact that we found the basic
marxian analysis in Capital to be adequate for analysing the bulk
categories of the economy - rate of surplus value, profit, rent,
organic composition etc. However it was evident that one could not
handle phenomena such as the balance of financial flows between
sectors, inflation in a non-goldmonetary system etc, using the
concepts openly presented by Marx. These were topics that arose in
conjunctural analysis and needed theorisation.

The focus on international trade and capital movements came partly
from paradoxes evident in the empirical data, and also from an
awareness of Warren's critique of Lenin's Imperialism. It was
evident that just saying that the UK was a capital exporter was
hard to reconcile with the evidence of the country having had a
trade deficit on the commodity account for almost a century. It was
clearly a net importer of value, so how was it a capital exporter."


Although Paul sent us the 1977 outline almost a year ago we have yet to
discuss it. Does anyone have any comments on its adequacy or usefulness?
Does anyone know of similar efforts elsewhere?

In OPE-L Solidarity,