[OPE-L:6423] Re: Variable capital and the determination of value

Francisco P.Cipolla (cipolla@tamandua.sociais.ufpr.br)
Mon, 6 Apr 1998 15:09:08 -0300 (EST)

It may be of some help to consider variable capital as paying for
the value of labor power but acquiring a quantity of labor
containing surplus value. I say this because this way what determines the
magnitude of value created is not variable capital itself --considered as
a constant magnitude of value -- but the amount of living labor it allows
to be incorporated into production. In fact, in the quotation provided by
Eduardo, Marx defines variable capital as a stock of value which
transforms itself into a flow of labor. Therefore it is variable not only
in the sense of being the source of increase in value, but variable also
in the sense of changing from a stock into a flow: stock of value into a
flow of labor.
It may be that from this point of view the semantic disagreement (provided
it is only semantic) may start to dissolve.
Paulo Cipolla