From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Fri Apr 22 2005 - 18:06:50 EDT
A crude argument would be that as each capitalist is going through a circuit of the form m-c-m'-c'-m'' etc then during alternate phases of the cycle of capital each time round each capital has more money. If we assume that different capitals are randomly mixed in their phases - some in the money phase some in the commodity phase then what is true for individual capitals must be true for capital as a whole. If the commodity stock held by all capitals is growing at x% per year, then the money stock must also be. At each cycle there must be more money available to purchase the augmented mass of commodities. This argument is relatively crude but it corresponds to the level of abstraction at which Marx initially points out that a problem exists If the gold stock was growing during the 19th century at less than 1% a year, this sets an upper limit on the growth of gold coin - since not all gold went into coin. We know that 1% a year was significantly lower than the long term rate of interest, and a-fortiori was lower than the rate of profit. My general point here is that one does not solve the problem of surplus value by recourse to exploitation in the labour force. This explains either a) how you can get a profit in a simple reproduction economy b) how you can get an accumulation of capital value through expanded reproduction What it does not explain is how it is possible for an exponentially growing capital value to continue passing through the monetary form during its cycle. In this sense the published volumes of Capital do not fully solve the problem of surplus value. In my view the answer is only possible if you downgrade the theoretical importance of gold, and place much more importance on the development of characteristically capitalist forms of banking. This of course is the approach taken by list member Riccardo Bellafiore. However one needs to uncover the historical articulation of the following: 1) Deposit taking banking. 2) The financing of sales between departments I and II by means of commercial bills. 3) The issue of private banknotes in the way that the Scottish Banks still issue them. 4) The role of state fiat money and the extent to which this can solve the problem. 5) The development of German model of financing of industrial capital by means of overdraft facilities. 6) The role of the gearing ratio as studied by Steindal. -----Original Message----- From: OPE-L on behalf of Ian Wright Sent: Fri 4/22/2005 6:58 PM To: OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Why aren't non-labourers sources of value? I am behind with replies to Andy and Ajit in particular. In the meantime ... > The real problem is explaining how this comes to have a monetary > representation - where does the money come from. > > If we assume a capitalist economy growing at some fraction > of its von Neumann growth rate then the aggregate circuit > > m-c-m'-c'-m''-c''-m''' > > implies an exponential growth in m. > > However we know that during the 19th century the average growth > of world gold stock was under 1% per year - see the accompanying > table that gives growth of stock in million troy ounces. There is a big assumption here. You seem to be saying that the extra money is a representation of the surplus product. So as the net product grows exponentially then so must the money in lock-step. Why should it? -Ian.
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