From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Wed Sep 21 2005 - 04:20:47 EDT
Diego Guerrero wrote: > Is not R in Sraffa's theory the maximun rate of profit? If so, it is a > ratio or quotient between two "things" that must have some (physical) > dimension. For instance, in Marxian theory, the rates of profit and > surplus value are also quotients. They have no dimension but are the > ratios of quantities of labour or money (measured in hours or euros). > So, the rate of profit is an (maximum) eigenvalue as well, but this pure > number is the quotient of two units that are in fact the same "thing". > But again: which is the physical unit of the standard commodity? It must > have one and I cannot conceive of nothing different from labour. > > Diego > Fair point about R being a ratio. The things of which it is a ratio are vectors of commodities. I dont have any difficulty thinking of this. Many ordinary commodities are themselves vectors of their components. Consider NKP fertilizer used on farms, this is a simple mixture of nitrate, potassium salts and phosphates. Despite being a mixture it has physical bulk and can be quantified. Sraffa's abstraction is essentially similar to the chemists notion of a Mole, a gram of a compound specified in fixed proportions corresponding to the molecular structure.
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