[OPE-L:3918] Re: More on negative surplus value

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 1 Jan 1997 19:11:48 -0800 (PST)

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Michael P wrote in [OPE-L:3917]:

> I have mentioned several times in the past that when technological change
> is too rapid firms may have to renew their capital stock before they have
> amoritized it. When this behavior is too common, negative surplus value
> will resort.

This can be explained in a couple of different ways:

(1) As a case of "moral depreciation", this might lead to the
*redistribution of surplus value* among capitalists within a given branch
of production. Although this might appear to the individual capitalist as
"negative surplus value" to the extent that the capitalist sees her/his
profit become negative, it would not affect the production of surplus
value as such.

(2) Suppose that all capitalists within a branch of production experienced
a loss as a result of the premature obsolescence of constant fixed
capital. In that case, profit could become negative not because of
"negative surplus value" but, rather, because the capitalists were not
able to realize the *transfer of value* from the constant fixed capital
that they had originally anticipated.

In solidarity, Jerry