[OPE-L:7310] [OPE-L:839] Re: Re: Re: Re: abstract labour

Ajit Sinha (sinha@cdedse.ernet.in)
07 Apr 99 16:39:15 IST (+0530)

Rakesh continues...
> Ajit,
> You argue part one is about Walrasian allocation; the rest of the
> book is
> about surplus and reproduction.
I don't argue that part one is about "Walrasian allocation". I
argue that the question of value has been placed within the
problematic of allocation of labor in part one. And I make a remark
that the arguments of part one is compatible with Walras' law.
> Let's start out with the most obvious, though we won't get far
> from there.
> The contradiction between concrete labor and abstract labor, use
> value and
> unit value is developed in part one and it underpins Marx's
> theory of how
> technical progress can bring a fall in the rate of profit despite
> the
> greater production of use values This is of course a fantastic
> possibility
> within a Sraffian framework, but that's hardly the point if we
> are trying
> to understand the relationship in Marx between his part one and a
> later
> theory of accumulation.
So first you say that concrete labor and abstract labor and use
value and unit value "contradiction"
underpins Marx's falling rate of profit thesis. You don't think
that you need to make any argument to show this underpinning? We
either have to accept it because you asserted it. Or may be you
will produce the same assertion made by Blake or somebody as an
"explanation". Secondly, what on earth Marx's falling rate
of profit thesis has to do with our discussion here? The question
simply is whether exploitation and surplus production logically
comes out of the analysis of part one? How does the "contradiction"
between use value and unit value underpin the theory of
exploitation? Now I have produced a criticism of the arguments that
suggest such. You need to critique my critique. No amount of
quotations will do any good here. As far as your comment on Sraffa
is concerned, it is simple nonsense. Why can't an increase in total
output with change in technology lead to a fall in the uniform rate
of profit in Sraffian system? I would love to hear even half an
argument about it.

If this rather obvious result is new to
> you, just
> turn to "Technical Progress: Use Value and Value" Duncan F's
> Understanding
> Capital, p. 54ff. There is also relevant discussion in
> Grossmann's book on
> dynamics.
Since you are such an authority on Sraffa, and unfortunately
you rope
in some other decent scholars in making your meaningless claims, I
would like to hear your argument rather than take references from
> Now we didn't get very far on this (you were especially not
> impressed by my
> other suggestion that the reproduction schemes are a study in the
> dual
> functions labor must play for the expansion of bourgeois
> society--see
> Rosdolsky's sometime helpful discussion here), so in my recent
> posts I
> tried another track to convince you that you really don't
> understand what
> Marx is trying to do in part one:
And you do? Who has not been able to come up with one argument
except check that book and see what this guy has to say. You are
not a scholar of Marx or political economy in your own right
Rakesh. And you unfortunately asume
that everybody is in your boat as well. Too bad for you.

I have reminded you that part
> one is a
> critique of Ricardian (and implicitly Walrasian) money theory
> which renders
> incomprehensible the possibility of a general glut the cause of
> which is
> thought to be the insufficiency of the money commodity. Marx
> reveals this
> common delusion to be an example of money fetishism of which the
> quantity
> theory of money is also an expression (by the way, this common
> delusion has
> roared life into some of the maddest and most reactionary
> movements of
> modern history of course). I have provided relevant quotes in
> recent posts.
Assertions! Assertions! Assertions! Quotations don't make an
argument either. The question is about Marx's analysis of money in
part one, and how is it relevant to the question of general glut?
If you have an argument come up with it. As i have already said,
general glut is possible within M-C-M', M'>M circuit, and not C-M-C
circuit. The problem is that there is no logical bridge from C-M-C
to M-C-M' circuit. You will have to substantiate Blake's claim that
there is an unbroken chain of logic here. By the way, have you ever
read Ricardo or for that matter Sraffa? I seriously doubt it.
Cheers, ajit sinha
> This final sentence from the quoted passage from TSV II is
> pregnant indeed:
> "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."
> This is indeed a very complex filiation of ideas; perhaps Ulrich
> Krause's
> book will prove illuminating. I have not clarified the
> connections between
> the ideas above, though that's what Marx does in part one if you
> would only
> read him without wanting to place Marx in one of your three boxes
> of
> economics.
> At any rate, I am happy to leave our discussion of your
> interpretation of
> the problematic of Capital I, part with your admission that the
> lengthy
> transcribed passage from TSV II in which Marx argues that
> Ricardo's faulty
> theory of money undergirds his acceptance of Say's Law reads to
> you as
> "mumbo jumbo" not at all impinging on the argument you are trying
> to make.
> Yours, Rakesh
> ps You keep good company. In Sweezy's classic exegetical work,
> the word
> 'money' does not even appear in the index! This is one of the
> many reasons
> to prefer Blake's textbook to Sweezy's even if Blake ends up
> putting you in
> a ditch.