[OPE-L:3851] Re: Conservation Laws

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 09:24:21 -0800 (PST)

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Alejandro R wrote in [OPE-L:3850]:

> The equalities are not the result of a particular
> "methodological presupposition", they are an "ontological
> matter". IMHO, the meaning of the two equalities is that
> the whole labor distributed by means of prices (value-form)
> in circulation is the same that has been objectified in
> production (value-substance), no more, no less. Prices can
> only distribute what in production has been spent. This is
> not a result of a "methodological assumption". More
> concrete situations imply that these equalities must be
> "reconstructed" in more complex situations (e.g. technical
> change).

The above reminded me of a question that I forgot to ask in #3849:

* At a more concrete level of abstraction, do the twin equalities hold
within each social formation or within the capitalist economy as a

I believe that the most consistent answer to the above would be, given
the level of abstraction that Marx is discussing, these equalities hold
for the capitalist mode of production as a totality. Yet, this implies
that the equalities will *not* hold within individual capitalist nations.
This, then, complicates both the theoretical question regarding the
international transfer of value and the empirical question of
the measurement of value, surplus value, and profits within any
individual capitalist nation.

Fred and Alejandro: what do you think about this?

In solidarity, Jerry