[OPE-L:4372] Re: another Mandel vs. Baran-Sweezy

Alejandro Valle Baez (valle@servidor.dgsca.unam.mx)
Wed, 12 Mar 1997 05:45:39 -0800 (PST)

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On Tue, 11 Mar 1997 aramos@aramos.bo wrote:

> Alejandro V-B:
> > > 2. The rate of surplus value has a limit: if you write s=s/(s+v) the
> > > limit is 1.
> Mike L (in ope-l 4335):
> > I prefer to write the rate of surplus value as Marx did (s/v); remember,
> > formulae are not neutral. Written this way, there is no limit to s/v in the
> > sphere of production as productivity increases; we can say (as Marx did in
> > the Grundrisse) that there is a limit to surplus labour per worker--- the
> > workday.
> Alejandro R asks:
> Could you please clarify this? If I write s/v or s/(v+s) (in labor-
> time terms) there IS a limit in the sphere of production, no matter
> the hypothetical increasing in productivity. This is, I think, what
> you say in the following phrase: If living labor (v+s) = 0, then
> there is no surplus labor (in Marx's theory, not in Dimitriev's) and
> then there is neither surplus value nor profit.
> What is the Grundrisse's reference you are mentioning?

Thanks to Alejandro Ramos, Gerry L. and Mike L. and others for their
valuable commentaries on this topic. I would like to say:

1. If v -->0 then s/v --> infinite. It means that the surplus is infinite IN
RELATION TO VARIABLE CAPITAL. It does not mean anything more. It does not
mean that surplus is infinite.
2. If v -->0 then s/(s+v) --> 1. It means (as Marx said) that the
surplus value cannot be greather than the working day.

3. Both propositions are true. You need to choose one for the specific
problem you are dealing with. If you are analizing the rate of profit and
you write:
r= (s/v)/(c/v+1) the limit of r when s/v and c/v --> infinite is an
INDETERMINATE form (infinite divided by infinite). Hence you are not
finding ANY limit of r.
But, if you write
then the limit of r = 0 if lim s/(s+v) = 1 and lim c/(s+v)= infinite.
Hence you find tht r has a definite limit. The discussion about the logic of
falling rate of profit is if c/(s+v) could growth without limit from my point of view.

4. I agree with Mike L. that formulas are not neutral. The two formulas
of rate of surplus value have different meanings, as Marx pointed out.
But if you need to analyse the rate of profit behavior
you must choose the s/(s+v) formula.

Un saludo

Alejandro Valle Baeza