[ show plain text ]
Gil, doesn't Marx's statement
"the formation of capital must be possible even though the price and
value of a commodity be the same, for it cannot be explained by referring
to any divergence between price and value"
precisely close for him your "question of whether price-value disparities
might be a *necessary* condition for the existence of surplus value".
In other words, he wants to establish the formation of capital WITHOUT
price/value divergence; he refuses to permit price/value divergence to
establish the formation of value. If so, I don't understand that you have
proven the "invalidity of this part of Marx's argument"; you rather seem
to have changed the question.
Please keep in my mind my limited knowledge of these (for me, endless)
disputes about the first part of Capital.
Paul Zarembka, supporting RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY
Gil Skillman <firstname.lastname@example.org> said, on 05/27/00:
>Assume for a moment that in his Chapter 5 argument Marx *does not* take
>as given that capitalist exploitation is based on capitalist production;
>in line with Fred's interpretation, I'll consider the implications of
>reversing this assumption below. Now:
>1) Marx concludes Chapter 5 with the claim that surplus value has to be
>explained "in such a way that the starting point is the exchange of
>equivalents," that is, the condition that all commodities exchange at
>their respective values. He then uses this conclusion explicitly at the
>beginning of Chapter 6 to justify the inference that in order to
>appropriate surplus value capitalists *must* (Marx's term) purchase labor
>power *as a commodity* and extract its use value, labor, to the extent of
>yielding surplus labor. Thus, if Marx's conclusion at the end of Ch. 5
>is invalid, his inference at the beginning of Ch. 6 is invalidly derived.
>2) Marx advances a direct and an indirect argument for the conclusion
>that surplus value has to be explained on the basis of price-value
>equivalence. The direct argument is that this conclusion follows from the
>fact that price-value disparities *taken alone* cannot account for the
>existence of surplus value:
>"The reader will see from the foregoing discussion that the meaning of
>this statement [the chapter 5 conclusion mentioned above] is only as
>follows: the formation of capital must be possible even though the price
>and value of a commodity be the same, for it cannot be explained by
>referring to any divergence between price and value." (p 269)
>A)First, the statement that price-value disparities in exchange cannot
>*of themselves* account for the existence of surplus value follows
>immediately from the definition of surplus value as "valorization" of
>value, i.e. the creation of new value rather than mere redistribution of
>existing value. Creation of new value presupposes production, and
>exchange is obviously not production. So you don't really need an entire
>chapter to make this point.
>B) Second and more critically, all this point establishes logically is
>that price-value disparities do not constitute a *sufficient* condition
>for the existence of surplus value. *This leaves entirely open the
>question of whether price-value disparities might be a *necessary*
>condition for the existence of surplus value. Without addressing this
>additional question, it is *logically impossible* to reach Marx's
>categorical conclusion at the end of Ch. 5. So even if I go no further,
>I've established the invalidity of this part of Marx's argument.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed May 31 2000 - 00:00:12 EDT