[OPE-L:4069] RE: More Depreciation Questions

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Mon, 27 Jan 1997 09:13:04 -0800 (PST)

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Question: What, according to Marx, were "the 3 great inventions which
ushered in bourgeois society"? (Answer appears at end of post).

Andrew K wrote in [OPE-L:4068]:

> John, I was never assuming cheaper machines; I couldn't give a hoot
> about why the machine is no longer used after a certain date. <snip>

Here, I think, your interests depart rather sharply from those of Marx.
Marx gave many hoots about case studies and economic history re
technological change (see, for example, his writings on "Division of
Labour and Mechanical Workshop. Tool and Machinery" in Volume 33 of the
_Collected Works_).

> Here is what I require. (a) A one-sector economy; (b) all capitalists within
> the sector are identical, having identical technologies, etc.; (c) a constant
> monetary expression of value, or measurement in labor-time; <snip>

Why do you "require" this? Although Marx may have assumed a constant MEL,
why must the rest be assumed as well?

> If we have only one sector, how can there be a better machine? Let it drop
> from the sky for all I care.

New machinery doesn't drop from the sky. In effect, you are making the
production of new machinery exogenous.

> Please, please, please forget realism. I have NO interest in any model of
> technical change or depreciation or anything.

Well, here we see again a separation of interests in the discussants in
this thread. I think that some *are* concerned about "technical change or
depreciation or anything" rather than just the most abstract questions
concerning moral depreciation.

In solidarity, Jerry

"*Gunpowder, the compass, and the printing press* were the 3 great
inventions which ushered in bourgeois society. Gunpowder blew up the
knightly class, the compass discovered the world market and founded the
colonies, and the printing press was the instrument of Protestantism and
the regeneration of science in general; the most powerful lever for
creating the intellectual prerequisites.." (_CW_, Vol. 33, p. 403).