[OPE-L:4345] produced and realized profit

Fred Mosele (fmoseley@laneta.apc.org)
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 22:21:48 -0800 (PST)

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Thanks very much to Mike for his (4327). I am very glad that we agree that
the starting of Volume 3 if "profit" (and cost price) and that Marx was
clear and consistent about this from the Grundrisse to the later manuscripts.

But there remains an important disagreement between us on the exact nature
of the determination of this "profit" that begins Volume 3. It is not
entirely clear to me exactly what Mike is arguing in these short posts about
the determination of profit (or surplus-value, since surplus-value and
profit are the same magnitudes up to this point). Mike seems to argue that
Volume 2 introduces a distinction between surplus-value PRODUCED and
surplus-value REALIZED as being two different quantities, and that the
latter depends in part on the expenditure of capitalists. Therefore,
according to Mike, the amount of surplus-value (or profit) considered by
Marx in Volume 2 and at the beginning of Volume 3 is not necessarily the
same magnitude as the surplus-value produced, as determined by surplus labor
time in Volume 1.

I know of no textual evidence from Volume 2 that discusses a distinction
between the surplus-value produced and the surplus-value realized, as being
two different magnitudes. Nor do I think that Marx argued in Volume 2 that
the amount of surplus-value realized depends on capitalists' expenditures.
As I understand Marx's reproduction schemes in Part 3 of Volume 2, the
amount of surplus-value is taken as given, as already determined by the
Volume 1 analysis. The amount of surplus-value is a given magnitude, not a
variable, in this analysis of reproduction. This given amount of
surplus-value is spent to purchase means of subsistence or luxury goods,
which enables the capitalists in depts. 2 and 3 to sell their goods. I know
of discussions where Marx said that the amount of surplus-value realized may
differ from the amount of surplus-value produced, due to the expenditures of
capitalists. This sounds to me more like Kalecki than Marx.

So I ask Mike to please provide textual evidence and further arguments to
support this interpretation of surplus-value realized in Volume 2. If this
is already written up somewhere, please send me a copy.

Thanks very much. I look forward to further discussion.


P.S. I also disagree with Mike's definition of "cost price" presented in
(4327). But I will save that for a later discussion, since Mike himself
notes that his interpretation of cost price depends on his interpretation of
the determination of surplus-value (profit).