# [OPE-L:3806] RE: Hairsplitting

Chai-on Le (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Mon, 9 Dec 1996 23:25:04 -0800 (PST)

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In [3794], Ian wrote:
>In response to Chai-on in OPE-L:3788, what you propose is fine with me
>also. I haven't checked that your proposed iteration works, but I can't see
>why it wouldn't.
>Shaikh was trying to make the point
>that you can see what Marx did as a first step, as incomplete rather than
>"inconsistent". Given that polemical point, his adoption of "total price =
>total value" is well enough motivated. But as you say, there is no
>necessity to adopt that particular relation between "values" and "prices of
>production" to establish a numeraire.
>

Chai-on:

What I am saying this: it would be ridiculous to posit "total value=total
price" if value and price were not of the same substance. A quantitative
equality must be premised on the same substance of the materials measured.

As for Shaikh, his iteration was not in the spirit of Marx, for his
calculation of value was in a composition principle, which was Smith's.
He assumed total value/price was constant at P. So, when he converted c and
v each into c' and v' respectively, the s was to be converted into the
amount of the residual, P-c'-v'. He presumed the P was composed of three
elements of c, v and s. For me, however, as I presume the P is resolved into
the three elements, c, v and s, the s should have been converted into s' in
the same proportion as v was converted into v', i.e. (v'/v)=(s'/s). The
reason is this: what was to be converted was not the respective elements of
v and s but the magnitude of direct labor which was to be RESOLVED into v
and s. Therefore, in conclusion, if you insist an iteration method, then its
pivot is not to be "total value=total price" but the constant rate of
exploitation. Then, the total price must be variant at each stage but the
two equalities "total value=total price" and "total surplus value=total