[OPE-L:5154] Re: [JOHN] Re: RRI and The Rate of Profit

Seongjin Jeong (seongjin@gshp.gsnu.ac.kr)
Sun, 1 Jun 1997 04:21:58 -0700 (PDT)

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Andrew responded:
> I don't know the answer to the last question. With respect to the former, I > think the *tendency* is ever-present. But Marx clearly holds
that the > tendency is periodically overcome by means of crises (I have
no idea where the > interpretation of the law as a secular trend comes
from. Does anyone?).

I think following frequently quoted paragraph of Vol.3 clearly
shows that Marx assumed that the Law of TRPF operates at least in the
long run.

"We have shown in general, therefore, how the same causes that bring
about a fall in the general rate of profit provoke counter effects that
inhibit this fall, delay it and in part even parlyse it. THESE DO NOT
ANNUL THE LAW, but they weaken its effect. ... The law operstes therefore
simply as a tendency, whose effect is decisive only under certain
particular circumstances AND OVER LONG PERIODS." (Capital, Vol.3,
Penguin, p.346. My emphasis.)

In this regard, I do not agree with Ben Fine's argument that Marx's Law
of TRPF is just "abstract" tendency "which by itself yields no general
predictions about actual movements in the rate of profit." (Rereading
Capital, p.64.) I think Marx's Law of TRPF is an empirically tendential
law as well as abstractly tentential law. I think Marx just meant that.

In solidarity,