[OPE-L:7304] [OPE-L:833] Re: Re: abstract labour

Ajit Sinha (sinha@cdedse.ernet.in)
07 Apr 99 11:52:33 IST (+0530)

Rakesh writes:
> Ajit,
> In an obnoxious style all your own, you given me quite a bit to
> take issue with.
> I only have time for the two central points: your
> mis-understanding of
> Marx's critique of Ricardian money and partial glut theory and
> your
> interpretation of the meaning of Marx's law of value.
I of course have style of my own, but it is not abnoxious.
The charge, though, can be laid on your door step easily. What you
understand is what you call central points are not central at all.
The question is about the relevance of part one analysis to the
analysis of exploitation and accumulation of capital of the rest of
*Capital*. Unfortunately you have not been able to put forward
even one argument yet, except quotation from other people asserting
that there is unbroken chain of logic in *Capital*. This is what my
work has challenged. And you are unable of come up with even a
little argument to refute it--so you go around beating about the
bush and quoting from all over the world.
> As for the first, recall that I had quoted from Theories of
> Surplus Value,
> and you responded thusly:
> "You see crisis you are talking about here is the misallocation
> of labor
> crisis. Market mismatch. This of couse falls within the
> allocation
> problematic that I have alluded above. You should know that
> Ricardo
> is far from childish. If you keep talking like this, no serious
> scholar will ever take you seriously."
> Now Ajit how do you expect a serious guy like me to take you
> seriously?
> Even the most superficial reading makes clear that the whole
> point here is
> Marx's critique of the understanding of crises only and always as
> partial
> gluts (aka the allocation of labor problem), never as universal
> ones. Marx
> thinks this reductionist error which takes it most extreme form
> in Say's
> Law comes from an incomprehension of money.
> Let's continue Marx's critique of Ricardo's exclusive concern
> with the
> quantitative determination of exchange value from p. 504 of
> Theories of
> Surplus Value II (Moscow: Progress Publishers.
> First the footnote to what I have already quoted:
> "That Ricardo regards money merely as a means of circulation is
> synomous
> with his regarding exchange value as a merely transient form, and
> altogether as something purely formal in bourgeois or capitalist
> production, which is consequenly for him not a specific definite
> mode of
> productin, but simply the mode of production."
> Marx continues:
> "That only particular commodities, and not all kinds of
> commodities, can
> form a 'glut on the market' and that therefore overproduction can
> always
> only be partial, is a poor way out [that's your way, Ajit--rb].
> In the
> first place, if we consider only the nature of the commodity,
> there is
> nothing to prevent *all commodities* from being superabudnant on
> the
> market, nad therefore all falling below their price. We are here
> only
> concerned with the factor of crisis. That is all commodities,
> apart from
> money [may be superabundant]. [The proposition] the commodity
> must be
> converted in money, only means that : all commodities must do so.
> And just
> as the difficulty of undergoing this metamorphosis exists for an
> individual
> commodity, so it can exist for all commodities.--which includes
> the
> purchase and sale jsut as it does their unity--instead of
> excluding the
> possibility of a general glut, on the contrary, contains the
> possibility of
> a general glut. Ricardo's and similar types of reasoning are
> moreover based
> not only on the relation of purchase and sale, but also on that
> of demand
> and supply, which we have to examine only when considering the
> competition
> of capitals. As Mill says purchase is sale, etc, therefore demand
> is supply
> and supply demand. But they also fall apart and can become
> independent of
> each other. At a given moment, the supply of all commodities can
> be greater
> than the demand for all commodities, since the demand for the
> general
> commodity, money, exchange value, is greater than the demand for
> all
> particular commodities, in other words the motive to turn the
> commodity
> into money, to realise its exchange value, prevails over the
> motive to
> transform the commodity again into use value."
> Now this is not the argument you are asking for, but it does
> indicate the
> argument that needs to be made and understood--Marx's critique of
> Ricardian
> money theory as setting the grounds for a theory of universal, as
> opposed
> to partial (aka the labor allocation problem), gluts.
What is the significance of all this mumbo jumbo when in my paper,
as you know well, I have suggested why Say's law will not hold in
Marx's framework. The point is that the crisis of general
overproduction cannot be argued in the context of C(1)-M-C(2)
circuit. In this case, crisis can take place only as a market
mismatch. For a general overproduction argument, you need Marx's
the surplus approach framework. You need to be clear about your own
understanding of what you are talking about.
> Equally superficial is your understanding of the law of value;
> your
> bourgeois economic eyes are focused on the market and
> equilibriating
> tendencies.
But I at least have got eyes, bourgeois or otherwise. You seem to
have no eyes, that's why you are being led by characters like Blake
etc. who are leading you straight in a ditch. Get to see something
for yourself, Rakesh. It's a great feeling!
> You write:
> "The *law* of value, as I have said many times, is like the *law*
> of
> gravity. It equilibrates supply of a commodity to its effectual
> demand."
> Now do underline that the Marxian law of value is like a law of
> gravity
> *only* in the sense that it asserts itself as does a house when
> it falls
> upon our ears. Why then does the law of value not peacefully and
> simply
> work to equilibriate supply and demand? Where is your argument?
Who is talking about peaceful or noisy aspect of the issue? I have
to get off now. They have to something with the set up. So i'll
respond to the rest tomorrow. Cheers, ajit sinha
> Compare Mattick in the chapter "The Law of Value as an
> Equilibrium
> Mechanism" in his Marx and Keynes:
> "Even so, in maintaining the 'social equilibrium of production,'
> the law of
> value asserts itself just as 'the law of gravity does when a
> house falls
> upon our ears." it asserts itself by way of crises, which
> restore, not a
> lost balance between supply and demand in terms of production and
> consumption, but necessary 'equilibrium' between the material
> production
> process and the value expansion process. It is not the market
> mechanism
> which explains an apparent equilibrium of supply and demand but
> the
> accumulation of capital which allows the market mechanism to
> appear, at
> times, as an equilibrium mechanism." p. 56
> Or from Mattick's Marxism: last refuge of the bourgeoisie?
> "This allocation of the social labor must be brought about
> thrhough the
> uncoodinated activities of the diverse capital entitites in their
> competitive pursuit of suprlus value. And if its brought about in
> some
> fashion, this is not due to any equilibrium tendencies stemming
> from teh
> suppy and demand relations, but is accomplished through shifts of
> labor
> time relations at the point of production, as determined by the
> value and
> surplus value relations of capital production Because the
> production of
> commodities is subordinated to that of capital, the social
> allocation of
> labor is determined by the accumulation of capital. The
> regulatory element
> in capital production must then be looked for not in the market,
> but in the
> production of value and surplus value as determined by capitalis
> relations
> of production.
> "The market exchange of commodities must lead to the accumulation
> of
> capital. If it does not serve this end, there exists no
> possbility for the
> exchangeability of all commodities, which is a necessary
> condition of the
> equation of supply and demand. With the consumption propensity of
> the
> workers restricted to the value of their labor power--that is, to
> the
> necessary part of the total social labor time--the whole of the
> surpulus
> value, in its commodity form, would have to be consumed by the
> capitalists
> in order to assure the exchangeability of all that has been
> produced. This
> would imply a condition of simple reproduction, hwich however is
> foreign to
> capital. It is then the accumulating part of the surplus value
> that may
> allows for the exchangeability of all commodities and therewith
> for an
> apparent indentity of supply and demand--an identity not
> indicating an
> equilibrium of production and consumption, however, but only a
> relationship
> between necessary and surplus labor assuring the enlarged
> reproduction of
> capital. Only this can provide a basis for the allocation of
> labor over the
> different spheres of production. This it is always an allocation
> of labor
> resulting from teh social realtiosn of production and therefore
> from the
> value relations in which they find their fetishistic expression."
> p. 22
> Yours, Rakesh
> ps I don't have time presently to deal with the nature of Marx's
> criticism
> of classical economics for its inattention to the form of value
> (see
> Postone); the epistemological dimensions of the theory of
> commodity
> fetishism (see Derek Sayer); Marx's explicit and implicit
> critique of other
> schools' theories of money and his positive analysis of the
> peculiarities
> of the value form (recent issues of The International Journal of
> Political
> Economy); the Marxian principle of historical specificity as it
> was
> sharpened by defending Richard Jones against Ricardo (see TSV
> III; Korsch;
> Patrick Murray; the role of Jones in the development of the
> theory of the
> Asiatic Mode of Production)
> That is a full time job. And I don't have the time for it
> presently