[OPE-L:4897] Re: two questions re V3, Ch. 10

Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Thu, 1 May 1997 09:14:42 -0700 (PDT)

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At 09:04 97-04-23 -0700, Jerry wrote:

>I have some questions re two puzzling passages from
>"The Equalization of the General Rate of Profit Chapter" in Volume 3:
>I. The "mathematics" of class unity
> ================================
> Near the end of the chapter Marx writes:
> "We thus have a mathematically exact demonstration of why the
> capitalists, no matter how little love is lost among them in their
> mutual competition, are nevertheless united by a real freemasonary
> vis-a-vis the working class as a whole" (Penguin ed., p. 300).
>Q: What and where is the "mathematically exact demonstration" to this
> effect in this chapter (V3, Ch. 10)?

A: general profit rate = total surplus value / total capital. (why not?)

>Q: If it is a "mathematically exact demonstration", then it should be
> able to be expressed mathematically, right? Any takers?

A: Of course, the surplus-value extracted by the capitalist A concerns the
other capitalists B and C. Because they can get a part of it in the form of
general profit, as far as it goes into the total profit (total surplus

>Q: What assumptions are required for this "mathematically exact
> demonstration"?

A: the total surplus value is exactly the same as the total profit., and
the total capital value is pregiven. All sectors are under the capitalist
mode of production, all capitals and labors are completely free mobile, and
with complete versatility or flexibility.

>Q: What does the above passage tell us about the possible contents of the
> "special study on competition"? [Note that it is unclear from the
> passage whether the last sentence refers to the subjects in the last
> paragraph or the last two paragraphs].

A: Competition is to be on a free and equal footings. Workers are not on
the equal footings with the capitalists. So, they should be subjugated to
the capitalist mode, to the capitalist competition.
The capitalist competition would comprize not only the subjugation but also
the capitalist mobility and the workers' mobility. Since the latter two are
so evident, you could assume the 'last sentence' to have referred to the
subject in the last paragraph only. But, it does not matter even if you
assume in the other way. The meaning is not to be injured.

> i) p. 205. Concerns the "full development of the credit system and
> competition on the world market." Also relates to the
> *revaluation and devaluation of capital; release and tying-up
> of capital* (since the passage appears at the beginning of that
> section) and *moral depreciation* (which is referred to later in
> the section on p. 209);

Modern credit system as against the pre-modern (semi-feudal) credit system
is characterized by the credit resource financed from the money capital
freed from the industrial capitals. This is a hot issue in S Korea. Because
he have not enough capital accumulation in industries, the credit system is
still pre-modern. (kerb credit markets are developed)

> ii) p. 342. "Reduction of wages below their value" in the chapter on
> the "Counteracting Factors" to the tendency for the general rate
> of profit to decline.

It would make the capitalist competition less severe. If wages are not
reduced, some capitalists would get the profit rate even below the level of
interest rate.

> iii) p. 426. growth of "non-functioning or only semi-functioning
> commercial capital"/"ease of entry into the retail trade, with
> speculation and a surplus of unoccupied capital"].

Such things would lessen the rate of general profits, and makes the
capitalists competition more severe, more antagnostic.

>Q: Why did Marx suggest that topics such as:
> -- labor mobility (and laws relating to same);
> -- "indifference of the worker to the content of his work";
> -- reduction to simple labour;
> -- "disappearance of all prejudices of trade and craft among the
> workers";
> -- "subjugation of the worker to the capitalist mode of production"
> "belong in the special study of *competition*?

This is a very important question in regard to the notion of ABSTRACT LABOR
as mentioned in his GRUNDRISSE. Job trainings are from the requirements of
the capitalists themselves.

>Q: What is the relation between the contents of Marx's planned book on
> competition and his planned work on Wage-Labour (Book 3 in the
> "6-book-plan")?

A: Competition should comprise both capital and wage labor and so should be
carried out after discussing both.

Jerry, if my understanding is aberrant, and need more deep thinking, please
poit out some, please. You should have already some definite answers, I