[OPE-L:3923] Re: More on negative surplus value

Michael Williams (100417.2625@compuserve.com)
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 15:56:19 -0800 (PST)

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I have been following the debate about negative SV, more because of the
clarity with which some details help to expose different approaches to the
interpretation of Marxist value theory than for the intrinsic interest of
the original passage from Marx (that to me seems decreasingly able to bear
the initially plausible an interpretation involving the concept of negative
SV). As ever I don't have time to enter the fray, but the following detail
from Jerry (which reflects earlier comments from him) puzzled me:

> 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.

My problem with this is that I have long (most unambiguously since I have
come to the value-form account) worked on the conception of new value as
being determined in the intersection of production *and circulation*; that,
whatever the 'ideal' value anticipated by the capitalist decision maker,
the value created was only that produced *and* successfully sold; that
amongst the attributes included under abstract, socially necessary, etc.
labour time was that its output was successful as commodities (ie sold for
a price covering costs and the going rate of profit); that, contrary to
vulgar opinion, Marx did indeed take 'demand' into account, so that labour
time expended on those products which in the event constitute an excess
supply, is wasted.
What have I got wrong? Am I missing something?
Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

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