[OPE-L:3863] givens in Marx's theory

Fred Mosele (fmoseley@laneta.apc.org)
Thu, 19 Dec 1996 20:33:53 -0800 (PST)

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I just have a little time before leaving for two weeks tomorrow, but I want
to try to briefly respond to recent posts by Alejandro R. and Jerry (next

Alejandro (3841) commented on my "monetary" interpretation of the givens in
Marx's theory. He presented a numerical example in which the value of money
changes (cut in half) with the result that the "money" rate of profit
CALCULATED IN HISTORICAL COSTS increases very significantly (from 33% to
167%). Alejandro contrasted this historical cost money rate of profit with
a rate of profit calculated in terms of labor-time, which is not affected by
the change in the value of money, i.e. it remains at 33%.

My own interpretation, presented in previous OPEL posts this Fall, is that
the "money" rate of profit is NOT evaluated in historical costs, but is
instead evaluated in current repacement costs. Since, the value of money
affects all current prices proportionally, it is not affected by the change
in the value of money, i.e. it also remains at 33%.

In (3856), Alejandro clarified that another possible measure of the money
rate of proit is precisely this money rate of profit in current replacement
costs that I have emphasized.

Therefore, It looks to me like we don't really have a disagreement here.
When I say that the initial givens of Marx's theory of surplus-value and
prices of production are quantities of money-capital, I mean (as I have said
before) the quantity of money-capital evaluated at current replacement
costs. Since, according to Marx's theory, all quantities of money
represent quantities of social labor, the given quantities of money-capital
can also be interpreted as quantities of social labor. However, the basic
logic of Marx's theory is represented by the general formula for capital: M
- C - M', where M is the initial givens.

I look forward to continuing this discussion when I return.