Sat, 30 Oct 1999 18:01:29 -0400
This is a response from Alejando Ramos to Fred's OPE-L:1510,
concerning my recent paper on the determination of value
transferred, posted as OPE-L: 1374-1381. Alejandro is not at
home, and so not able to post his letter himself, but he said I
could do so.
I agree with what Alejandro has written. I have some more to add,
and I hope to post my own response soon.
A short comment on your post #1510, re Andrew's article:
>As a framework for the discussion, I will distinguish between
>of a given circuit of a given capital (using the example of
>yarn to stand for any and all means of production and final
>respectively): (1) BEFORE production (and after purchase of the
>in which the purchased cotton exits as a stock of raw material
>production; (2) DURING production, in which the cotton is being
>transformed into yarn; and (3) AFTER production (and before the
>the yarn), in which the cotton exists as yarn circulating on the
>The question at issue in the current discussion is: if the
>cotton changes due to a change of productivity in each of these
>of time, does this result in a change in the value transferred
>cotton to the price of the yarn?
>I argue that Marx clearly stated many times that if the price of
>changes due to a change of productivity in each and every one of
>three phases ("at whatever stage of completion"; C. III. p. 207),
>value transferred from the cotton to the yarn also changes
>The value transferred by the cotton is determined by the current
>cotton, and the current cost of cotton may change in one of these
I think it's true that the current cost of *cotton* may change in
these phases. Indeed, the value of any *stock of cotton* can
change at any
moment given a change in productivity.
But the problem is that, in phase 2, actually, there is no longer
because the production of yarn means, precisely, that the *cotton*
consumed, i.e. destroyed as cotton, as the use-value "cotton", and
therefore converted into yarn. So, in phase 2 --the process of
actually there is no longer a *stock of cotton* (or "batch of
you write later) whose value can change given a change in
In production, while the use-value of inputs is being consumed,
*destroyed*, *its value* is being *conserved*, *transferred* into
In order to be affected by a change in the productivity of labor,
have *a stock of the use-value* in question, in this example, the
clearly this does not happen once the cotton has been *consumed*.
aspect of the commodity "cotton" remaining is then its *value* as
*conserved*, as it "reappears", as part of the value of the yarn.
*use value* of the input is consumed, at the same time, and as a
the yarn-producing concrete labor, the *value* of cotton is
into the new commodity and, in this way, *determines* its value as
fraction corresponding to the *past labor* being transferred and
in the new commodity.
The problem with what Andrew calls the "simultaneist"
that we loose completely the meaning of the category "past labor",
presented by Marx, because "past labor" is being continuously
current events, so it cannot be longer conceived as *past* labor,
true meaning of the word. The order of *temporal determination*,
capital cycle implies, is also lost as a result of the
formalization of Marx's theory.
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