[OPE-L:1625] Re: determination of value transferred

Andrew_Kliman (Andrew_Kliman@email.msn.com)
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.

Andrew Kliman


Dear Fred:

A short comment on your post #1510, re Andrew's article:

You write:

>As a framework for the discussion, I will distinguish between
three phases
>of a given circuit of a given capital (using the example of
cotton and
>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
sale of
>the yarn), in which the cotton exists as yarn circulating on the
>The question at issue in the current discussion is: if the
price of
>cotton changes due to a change of productivity in each of these
>of time, does this result in a change in the value transferred
from the
>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),
then the
>value transferred from the cotton to the yarn also changes
>The value transferred by the cotton is determined by the current
cost of
>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
one of
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*
is being
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
cotton" as
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
the yarn.
In order to be affected by a change in the productivity of labor,
we must
have *a stock of the use-value* in question, in this example, the
clearly this does not happen once the cotton has been *consumed*.
The only
aspect of the commodity "cotton" remaining is then its *value* as
it is
*conserved*, as it "reappears", as part of the value of the yarn.
While the
*use value* of the input is consumed, at the same time, and as a
result of
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"
interpretation is
that we loose completely the meaning of the category "past labor",
presented by Marx, because "past labor" is being continuously
altered by
current events, so it cannot be longer conceived as *past* labor,
in the
true meaning of the word. The order of *temporal determination*,
which the
capital cycle implies, is also lost as a result of the
formalization of Marx's theory.


Alejandro R.

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