[OPE-L:3618] Re: vol. 3, ch XI - amendment

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Thu, 7 Nov 1996 09:58:01 -0800 (PST)

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(I) I have had no time to follow IN DETAIL Allin's posts on Vol. 3,
Ch. XI. However, in reference to his CLARIFYING and HONEST OPE-L 3611
"amendment", I would wish to underline the following:

"On the single-system view... the value of a commodity is composed of
(a) the sum of the prices of the means of production other than
labour-power ***(converted into labour-hours via a suitable

I think that, insofar as we start to deal with the kind of dynamic
problems Allin is raising, this "suitable multiplier" (relating labor-
time and money, and that I like to call "monetary expression of
labor, MEL) becomes a KEY magnitude that must be "endogenously"
determinated. So, it is no so simple to 'use' a given "suitable
multiplier" that stays constant and that 'serves' to go between both
'worlds' (labor-time and money, value-substance and value-form)
without problem. It changes and it can change in different amounts for
the different components of commodities. The matter is very

I think these dynamic problems mean that we have to CAREFULLY
DISTINGUISH between the **labor-time** magnitudes and the **money**
magnitudes. So, I would "comment" one Allin's "chunk" as follows:

"The direct effect of a change in wages [What wages? Paper-money
wages? Gold-money wages? Labor-time "wages", i.e. "necessary labor"]
is, then, simply to alter the allocation of the direct **labour-
time** [so, Allin is speaking about "necessary labor", not exactly
about "wages"] required for the production of any given commodity
between the reproduction of variable capital [he means: "necessary
labor"] and the production of surplus value [he means: "surplus-
labor"], producing no change in value [he means: "labor-value"]. Cost-
prices change, but surplus value [he means: surplus-labor] changes in
an offsetting manner."

It might happen, for instance, that "paper money wages" were constant
but, for any reason, the labor-time represented by these "paper
notes" (so one of the possibles Allin's "suitable multipliers")
decreases. In that case, we would have that "paper-money wages" dont
change ("nominal wage" is constant) but "necessary labor" changes; in
particular the rate of exploitation (the ratio surplus-labor /
necessary labor) rises. Total amount of living labor-time is
constant but it is redistributed in favor of capitalists which, I
think, is the case Allin is considering. This happens because
capitalist are paying wages in "paper notes" which represent less
labor-time than the labor-time represented by the "paper notes"

It is obvious that there are many, many possibilities like this to be
analysed. In my opinion, is in this framework that the "dynamic" cases
should be considered.

(II) I would wish to remember to OPE-L mates that, today, is November
7, so October 25. Despite we know the "aftermath", it seems important
to me to remember that 79 years ago, Russian people overthrew the
capitalist system in that country, and that it has, even today, an
important meaning.

Alejandro Ramos M
7.11.96 (25.10.96)