[OPE-L:7317] [OPE-L:846] Re: technical change and productivity change

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 7 Apr 1999 20:40:59 -0400 (EDT)

Re Ajit's [OPE-L:819]:

Rakesh wrote previously:

> > Using the Sraffian commodity theory of value, Spencer Pack has
> > given an
> > example a fully automated economy in which there is a positive
> > average rate
> > of profit and relative prices despite there being no workers or,
> > to put it
> > differently, v being zero. This then raises at least two
> > problems:
> > 1)why would a society not based on the appropriation of labor by
> > one class
> > from another have a uniform profit rate

To which Ajit responded:

> Why not? I find this to be a perfectly resonable result.

Is it reasonable to discuss "capitalism" without the class relations
associated with that mode of production? E.g. if there is no wage-earning
class (v=0), then in what sense are we still talking about capitalism?

> You should know that the idea of maximum rate of profit was
> borrowed by Sraffa from Marx. It was Marx who argued that there
> would be a finite maximum to the rate of profit anytime, even if
> "workers could live on air".

Could you please give us the reference for this in Marx? Thanks.

> I find that most of the "defense" of
> Marx on this list are poorly informed about Marx's writings. A poor
> show indeed!

You, of course, are entitled to your opinion. Gathering from what others
have said, you are in a minority of one in that accessment. I do think,
however, that discussion is enriched whenever we explain our positions
rather than simply make assertions.

In solidarity, Jerry