[OPE-L:4019] Re: The Moral of Depreciation?

Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 21:10:18 -0800 (PST)

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Jerry raised the following puzzles,

>(1) As Marx says, he assumes that the cycle "is now on average a ten-year
>one." Is it still safe to assume NOW the 10-year character "on average" of
>the cycle?

Chai-on: No. The duration becomes shorter and shorter. That is why the cycle
is no longer of the 10 years.

>(2) If this is one of the material foundations for the trade cycle, what
>are the others?

Chai-on: Falling tendency of the profit rates or the unbalanced consumption
etc. cannot explain the cyclical, periodical character of the crisis but
only explain the cause of the crisis. The cyclical, periodical character is
only comprehensible with the fixed capital.

>(3) How -- or do -- "long waves" fit into this picture? I.e. what is the
>relation between the trade cycle and long waves? (that's a topic we
>haven't discussed yet).

Chai-on: Another long wave of the industrial revolutions, another kind of
fixed capital, e.g. transportation revolution, chemical revolution,
electronic revolution, etc. which led other industries occured every 50 or
so years.

>(4) Where is this subject of the causes of the periodicity of the trade
>cycle and its relation to the turnover of constant fixed capital and moral
>depreciation further developed in _Capital_? "Moral depreciation" is, of
>course. brought up in V3 in Section 2 of Ch. 6 (see p. 209, Penguin
>edition) re the "revaluation and devaluation of capital: release and
>tying-up of capital." But, note that: a) Marx states explicitly in the
>beginning of Section 2 that (one of my favorite quotes) "the phenomena
>under investigation in this chapter assume for their full development the
>credit system and competition on the world market. These concrete forms of
>capitalist production, however, can be comprehensively depicted only after
>the general nature of capital is understood; it is therefore outside of
>the scope of this work to present them -- they belong to a possible
>continuation." (Ibid, p. 205); and b) where is the question of the
>relation of the turnover of constant fixed capital and moral depreciation
>related to periodic crises ideveloped n V3? This would seem to be a rather
>large "gap" in the presentation.

Chai-on Lee
Faculty of Economics,
Chonnam National University,
Kwang-Ju, 500-757,
S Korea
Tel: +82-62-520 7329
Fax: +82-62-529 0446
E-m: conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr