[OPE-L:4905] Re: ideal vs real value

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sun, 4 May 1997 09:30:12 -0700 (PDT)

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Michael P wrote in [OPE-L:4904]:

> The zero sum game is not inconsistent with crises.

I agree.

> 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
> industry.

The question I was posing was whether _in addition to the transfer of
surplus value among capitalists_ during a crisis, there is (or can be) a
_decrease_ of aggregate value and surplus value. In other words, I think
it is unreasonable to project -- except by way of assumption -- that the
value "lost" by some capitalists will exactly equal the value "gained" by
other capitalists -- as the conservation of value principle would lead us
to believe.

The image of what happens in a crisis according to the cv principle could
be likened to a poker game where one side gains to the exact degree that
another side loses. That would preclude the possibility that the total
amount of value -- adding up the "value" of all participants in the "game"
-- could diminish. That is why I likened the cv perspective to a "zero-sum

In solidarity, Jerry