[OPE-L:4374] Re: Mandel vs. Baran-Sweezy

Allin Cottrel (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Wed, 12 Mar 1997 07:46:10 -0800 (PST)

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On Tue, 11 Mar 1997, Michael_A._Lebowitz wrote:

> For the most part in Capital, Marx
> put aside such questions and for analytical purposes ("to avoid confounding
> everything") assumed that real wages (the standard of necessity) are given
> and fixed; his intention, as he noted on many occasions, was to remove this
> assumption when he got to the Book on Wage-Labour.

We'd also have to open the Book on Non-Commodity Money here.
The flipside of a _general_ rise in prices, due to an
increase in the degree of monopoly, is a fall in the
purchasing power of money. This is problematic if money is
a commodity in its own right -- we'd have to be talking
about a rise in the degree of monopoly in the production of
goods other than gold, relative to that in the production of
gold. On the other hand, with credit money and an
accommodating monetary policy, such a general rise is

I accept Mike's point -- that Marx envisaged the possibility
that an increase in monopoly could possibly augment rather
than just transfer surplus value -- but what I'm saying is
that this is a rather complex matter, with multiple
preconditions... It can't be conceived as simply a
generalization of the idea that one capitalist can raise his
profit by monopolizing a given market, as I think it is in
much of the literature flowing from Baran and Sweezy.

Allin Cottrell.