# [OPE-L:5551] Re: Re: the assumptions necessary for the two equalities to hold?

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Fri May 11 2001 - 23:36:42 EDT

This is reply to Rakesh's (5540).

I argued in (5538):

> >1.  Marx's theory of the magnitude of surplus-value is presented in
> >Chapter 7 of Volume 1.  According to this theory, surplus-value is
> >determined by the following implicit equation:
> >
> >(1)	S = m (L - Ln)
> >
> >where m is money value added per hour, L is the total working day, and Ln
> >is necessary labor ( = V/m).   In Marx's numerical example to illustrate
> >his theory in Chapter 7, m = 0.5sh/hr, L is first 6 hours and then 12
> >hours, and Ln is 6 hours.  In the first case (L = 6 hrs), S = 0; and in
> >the second case (L = 12 hrs), S = 3 sh.
> >
> >Please notice that neither constant capital nor the value transferred from
> >the means of production appears in the above equation.  In other words the
> >magnitude of surplus-value is INDEPENDENT of C or value transferred.  It
> >makes no difference for the determination of the magnitude of S whether C
> >= 24 sh or C = 240 sh.
>
>
> >
> >
> >2.  Marx emphasized this point in Chapter 9 of Volume 1 in the
> >introduction of his key concept of the rate of surplus-value.  Since S is
> >independent of C, S should be related to variable capital only.  That is
> >what the rate of surplus-value does: S/V.
> >
> >
> >3.  In Chapter 11 of Volume 1 ("The Rate and Mass of Surplus-value"), Marx
> >took variable capital per worker (Vi) and the rate of surplus-value
> >(RS) as given, and then determined the mass of surplus-value produced by n
> >workers employed by a given capital, according to following equation (with
> >different notation):
> >
> >(2)	S = RS (Vi) n
> >
> >(3)	S = RS (V)		where V = n Vi
> >
> >In Marx's main numerical example in Chapter 11, RS = 1.0, Vi = 3 sh,
> >n = 100 workers, and thus S = 300 sh.
> >
> >Please note once again that the mass of surplus-value does not depend in
> >any way on constant capital or the value transferred from the means of
> >production.

Rakesh replied in 5540:

> All these formulas from vol 1 simply and totally evade my point.
>
> Marx can make these assumptions in vol 1; the assumptions are dropped
> in vol 3, and the crucial one is dropped even after Marx has written
> up the transformation table in Capital 3, ch 9. So your evidence from
> the transformation tables (below), much less vol 1, just  miss my
> point.
>
>
> Since Marx assumes that the value of the means of production or more
> specifically of the consumed means of production as that value
> appears in the output is the same as its price, he can further assume
> that the value of the money advanced as constant capital and the
> value of the consumed means of production as they appear in the final
> output simply cancel themselves out.
>
> So it then follows that surplus value will depend on variable capital
> and the rate of exploitation alone. C will not enter into it, as you
> say.
>
>
> What I am saying is that in vol 3 Marx no longer assumes that the
> value transferred gratis by labor from the means of production is the
> same as the flow price of the machine. Once this assumption is
> relaxed, it is now possible that the value of the money advanced in
> any one branch as constant capital may be different than the value of
> the consumed means of production as they appear in the final product.

1.  Rakesh, you seem to agree here that the equations I presented in my
last post from Volume 1 of Capital (reproduced above) accurately express
Marx's theory of the determination of the magnitude of surplus-value in
Volume 1, right?

This seems to be different from what you have said in previous posts, in
which you argued (as I understood it) that S is determined by the
equation:

S = value - K

and that S is determined this way in both Volume 1 and Volume 3.

For example, you said in (5390): "The magnitude of surplus-value is always
total value, as monetarily expressed, minus cost price.  THAT'S WHAT IT IS
IN VOLUME 1; THAT'S WHAT IT IS IN VOLUME 3.  (emphasis added)

But your equation above implies that S depends in part on C (since K = C +
V), which directly contradicts the equations from Volume 1 that I have
presented.  So your equation cannot express the determination of S in
Volume 1.

Rakesh, have you changed your mind on this point, or have I missed
something?

2.  But now you say that these equations for the determination of the
magnitude of surplus-value in Volume 1 ARE DROPPED IN VOLUME 3.  You do
not say so explicitly in this post, but I presume you mean that the
magnitude of surplus-value is determined in Volume 3 according to your
equation above, right?

Let me make sure I understand this: are you arguing that in Volume 3 Marx
CHANGED THE METHOD OF DETERMINATION of the determination of the magnitude
of surplus-value, from the equations I presented in my previous post to
your equation above?  If this is what you are arguing, then this would be
no small matter.  Indeed I would say that this is the biggest matter of
all in Marx's theory.  Marx's theory is mainly about the determination of
the magnitude of surplus-value.  So if Marx indeed changed his method of
determination of the magnitude of surplus-value in Volume 3, then one
would expect an extensive discussion of this all-important modification in
his theory, right?

But I know of NO such discussion in Chapter 9 of Volume 3 or elsewhere in
Marx's manuscripts.  Rakesh, if there are such discussions, would you

In the absence of such references, I find it highly unlikely that Marx
would have changed the method of determination of the all-important
magnitude of surplus-value without ever mentioning this fundamental
modification.

That is one reason I argue that Marx did NOT CHANGE his method of the
determination of the magnitude of surplus-value in Volume 3.  The
magnitude of surplus-value is determined by the theory presented in Volume
1 (and expressed in the equations I have presented) and this does not
change in Volume 3.  Rather, the magnitude of surplus-value that is
determined in Volume 1 is TAKEN AS GIVEN in Volume 3, in which the
question is not the production of surplus-value, but the distribution of
surplus-value.

One more response below.

> But I am not denying this. Since in these transformation tables Marx
> IS STILL ASSUMING that the value of the money advanced as constant
> capital will reappear in the same magnitude in the product which
> embodies the value of the consumed means of production, he is
> right--to repeat myself--to say at this point that the  sum of
> surplus value in any branch will depend entirely on the rate of
> exploitation and the variable capital advanced.
>
>
> At this point in the presentation it is not possible that the sum of
> surplus value in any branch could be higher or lower depending on
> whether the means of prod sold below or above value because it is
> still being assumed that value transferred is the same as the flow
> price. Once Marx gives us reason to see why value and price of
> production differ, he then goes back and revises this assumption
> which he has been carrying since vol 1 and which is built into the
> transformation tables.

Rakesh, exactly where did Marx "go back and revise this assumption" (that
the magnitude of S depends on V and RS, and is independent of C) "which he
has been carrying since Volume 1 and which is built into the
transformation process"?  Where did Marx discuss the new method of
determination of the magnitude of surplus-value?  As I have said, I know
of no such discussion.