[OPE-L:6473] Re: [OPE] Variable Capital

Eduardo Maldonado Filho (eduardo@orion.ufrgs.br)
Sat, 18 Apr 1998 11:25:20 -0300

A response to Jurriaan (re: 04/15/98)

> Eduardo writes:
> Thus, from
> > the standpoint of the results of the production process, the variable
> > capital is measured by the amount of new value which is incorporated
>> into the commodity capital produced.
> This seems a little confusing. The amount of new value created and
> incorporated into output over a given period is the equivalent of the
> wage-payments (variable capital) outlaid PLUS the surplus-value (gross
> profits). The "new value added", or the new value product, is V+S, not
> just V.

Right. This is what I was trying to say. Variable capital, because it
exists a living labor within the production process, incorporates a new
value into commodity capital. From the value created, part is but the
reproduction of the variable capital advanced by the capitalist in buying
LP and the other part is surplus value.

> The measure of variable capital is the current reproduction cost of
> labour power, and it is this which varies within physiological, moral and
> historical limits. Thus, the magnitude of variable capital is a result,
> an outcome of a series of factors which interact with each other to
> accepted norms for the "cost of living".

The current reproduction cost of labor power, which depends on the changes
of the productivity and on the class struggle, measures the value of labor
power. Variable capital is measured by the money advanced to buy labor
power. If the price of labor power is equal to its value, then the "measure
of variable capital is [equal to] the current reproduction cost of labor
power". Otherwise, this does not hold.