[OPE-L:4904] Re: ideal vs real value

Michael Perelman (michael@ecst.csuchico.edu)
Sun, 4 May 1997 09:09:04 -0700 (PDT)

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Gerald Levy wrote:

> According to that principle, the magnitude of value is
> "given" following production and can not be "lost" , "spoiled" or
> "destroyed." Rather, if one accepts that principle, then value and surplus
> value can *only* be re-distributed among capitalists. Thus, in considering
> the affect of technical change, the magnitude of value and s "lost" by
> some capitalists is _exactly_ equal to the magnitude of value and s
> "gained" by other capitalists. The result is then like a "zero-sum game".
> >From my perspective, this theorem has the very real disadvantage that
> it denies the possibility of the *destruction* of capital values such that
> the aggregate magnitude of value can be *diminished* rather than *only*
> transferred. This *destruction _and_ redistribution* of value is
> precisely what I believe occurs in a crisis.

The zero sum game is not inconsistent with crises. At times, Marx gives
a reading of Minsky-like crises. The claims of capitalists are
redistributed toward finance, which lowers the rate of profit. In
effect, surplus value is transferred to the creditors away from

Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929
Tel. 916-898-5321
E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu