Re: [OPE-L] Michio Morishima, 1923-2004

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Mon Mar 28 2005 - 13:33:17 EST

Paolo wrote: "Marx, as we can recall does not have the falling rate
of profit in his discussion of the general law."

This is how I understand Marx's general law in briefest terms:

Accumulation of capital raises its organic composition which in turn
depresses the profit rate, but the depression of the profit rate is
not incompatible with a rising in the rate of accumulation (see quote
below) which expresses itself in an increase in the absolute level of
employment though at a diminishing rate; the absolute rise is thus
not sufficient to absorb both the new population and the population
expelled from declining firms and industries. Marx assumes that
capitalist industry will favor the former, making wretches of the
displaced workers.

Here's the quote from volume 3 I had in mind:

"[Richard] Jones is right to stress that despite the falling rate of
profit, the 'inducements and faculties to accumulate' increase. Firstly, on
account of the growing relative surplus population. 2ndly, beacuase as the
productivity of labor grows, so does the mass of sue value reprsented by
the same exchange value, ie. material elements of capital. 3rdly, because
of the increasing diversity of branches of production. 4thly through thre
development of the credit system, joint stock companies, etc, and the ease
with which the possessor of money can now transforme it into capital
without having to become an industrialist capitalist. Fifthly, the growth
in needs and desire for enrichment. 6thly, the growing mass of investment
in fixed capital, and so on." Capital 3 Vintage, p. 375

Marx's crisis theory is not based on a falling rate of profit but an
insufficiency in the mass of surplus value.

Yours, Rakesh

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