Paul Cockshott writes:
>I don't think that Marx actually ever says that the surplus production
>'must' take a value form in a capitalist system. He starts out from the
>monetary profits exist, and seeks to explain them in a way consistent with a
>labour theory of value.
I would agree with that, though perhaps not quite for the same reasons as
>From a social accounting point of view, the surplus product of a nation
corresponds also in part to surplus labour which is not materialised in
commodities or even necessarily represented by money, i.e. takes the form
of a surplus of use-values. The question is complicated other problems such
as (1) that the mass of surplus value may not be equal to the mass of
profits, as Shaikh has convincingly argued, and (2) unsold (unsaleable)
stocks of output may be treated by businesses as waste.
I do not believe Piero Sraffa's concept of physical surplus is equal to
Marx's concept of surplus product or surplus-value. Howver, I never made a
serious study of Sraffa apart from reading work by a student of his, a New
Zealander called Ronald Meek.
And I still haven't got round to Kalecki apart from reading the article in
my New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. He seems to have been a very
creative economist, one of the transitional figures in the Marxian
tradition like Mandel. Kalecki also concerned himself with problems of
socialist planning, which makes him doubly interesting.
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