[OPE-L:7369] [OPE-L:899] Re: Re: Re: Re: abstract labour

Ajit Sinha (sinha@cdedse.ernet.in)
15 Apr 99 11:38:12 IST (+0530)

I have been sick due to Delhi heat for sometime that's why I
have not been able to respond on this thread. As I can see the
discussion has moved on, which i have not read yet. Now, i'll try
to make only a few brief comments because I don't think I have
enough enery or time to respond to all that has gone by in the last
week or so.
Rakesh Cotinues...
> Ajit,
> >And waht was the argument that Marx was making? That there could
> be
> >a general glut in his C(1)-M-C(2) circuit?
> No the possibility of the general glut is inherent in the
> monetary
> expression of commodity value. Remember I had quoted Marx from
> "[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 just as it does their unity--instead of
> excluding the
> possibility of a general glut, on the contrary, contains the
> possibility of
> a general glut."
> So Marx's argument seems to be aimed at uncovering in the
> circulation of
> commodities contradictory aspects that are immanent and make
> possible
> general overproduction.
The general overproduction is possible only if supply in general
does not creat its receprocal demand. In a C(1)-M-C(2) circuit the
producer of C(1) has produced C(1) as a means to consume C(2). It
is possible that there is no demand for C(1), and so the producer
gets frustrated. This would be the example of a market mis-match.
But in this case, there cannot be a general glut. The possibility
of general glut, as I have argued in the beginning of section 4 of
my paper, comes into picture where the reason for production is no
longer consumption. The surplus prodution in capitalism may not
throw up a receprocal demand which may cause general glut. So the
fundamental reason for the possibility of general glut is not the
existence of money but rather surplus production or production for
profit. The existence of money may facilitate in bringing about
this possibility into actuality. So the possibility of a general
glut is not a criticism of my position. But I think the glut
situation could only be a short term phenomenon and not a
persistent long term phenomenon. One should keep in mind that Marx
was not a Keynesian. Neither he looked at money as Keynes did nor
he had a theory of effective demand.
> I think I have brought
> >out the cause of general glut in Marx's theory in a very clear
> cut
> >manner. You need to critique that.
> I can't find it in the paper I am commenting on.
See the first few paragraph of section 4.
> I do find the claim that "market forces would not allow a
> permanent
> existence of excess supply" in "the case of any other commodity"
> but labor
> power!!! (p.213)
> And talk about loose formulations!!! Do note that Marx is quite
> clear that
> the analysis of simple circulation does not him allow to theorize
> the
> *cause* of a general glut, only its *possibility*.
Where is "loose formulation" here? How can there be a persistence
of general glut of all commodities in capitalism? You will have to
show me how there is a *possibility* of general glut in C(1)-M-C(2)
> At any rate, I can't find where you talk about Marx's analysis
> of the
> contradictions of commodity production, that private labor can
> only
> manifest itself as social labor, that concrete labor can only
> pass as
> abstract labor, that objects are personified and people are
> represented by
> things. These are the contradictions immanent in circulation that
> Marx
> thinks creates the possibility for a *general* crisis. This is
> not the
> "problematic"--the theory of general crisis--that you ascribe to
> Marx,
> though I am suggesting that it there from the beginning.
Why should I talk about these things. I have brought out the basic
problematic of social division of labor that hids behind these
complicated sounding jargons.
> You seem to suggest that Marx's concern with allocation is
> consistent with
> a Walrasian value theoretic approach to equilibrium. Not only
> does Marx's
> analysis offo said contradictions vitiate or at least complicate
> your
> fantastic claim, Marx also never argues (and you have provided no
> textual
> evidence) that Marx actually thinks an equilbrium tendency is
> effective. I
> have asked you to explain why the law of value acts like the law
> of gravity
> only in the sense..., but you did not reply.
Tell me what does Marx mean by "law of value"? And what is the
meaning of his argument that rate of profits must equalize in
chapter 8 of *Capital* vol.3?
> Blake makes the argument that Marx does not derive from the
> oscillations of
> prices a mechanism that would enable the realisation of
> equilibrium in
> value and price or supply and demand.
> Blake recognizes of course that "pant producers, when prices are
> disastrous--that is, are far below labor time spent in
> production--will try
> to reduce production and so achieve an equilibrium with value;
> but no
> sooner do they do this than other factors enter that upset the
> equilibrium
> again. Hence the idea that there is a constant groping of prices
> for value
> does not mean that the totality of production is represented by a
> series of
> branches of production that compose a total in equilibrium. It is
> rather
> that total labor time, in all production, is divided among
> branches of
> production, each of which is selling well away from labor time,
> and being
> constantly driven away from perfect correspondence with it,
> despite the
> counter tendency to approximate it. This counter tendency
> expresses the
> fact that the totality of values and the totality of prices are
> the same,
> as representatives of labor time. But a total can be made up of
> sections
> that are *never* in equilibrium, since it is a *predetermined*
> total in any
> case." p. 135
Again its mumbo jumbo. But whatever it says, it does not dispute
the idea of gravitational point. So how come it could be a critique
of what I have been arguing. I have never said that Marx thinks
that the system is sitting pretty on general equilibrium.
Cheers, ajit sinha
> Yours, Rakesh