Re: [OPE-L] monetary macro interpretation

From: Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Sat May 27 2006 - 09:18:12 EDT

On Thu, 25 May 2006, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> Hi Fred,
> I think to refer to (as you do here)
> TOTAL surplus value is to imply that there is surplus value
> at the level of the firms out of which the total surplus value is composed.
> Which in turn implies that the OCC and s/v can be defined for each individual
> firm. I take Lexis to be denying this, this implication of your formulation.
> While an individual firm can have performed some
> quanta of the total valid social labor time, it cannot have produced
> surplus value.
> Only  the total social capital, as itself a concrete individual in terms
> of which alone are the OCC and s/v defined, yields surplus value. The
> individual
> firm does not produce surplus value but receives some portion of it in the
> form
> of profit. Marx's crucial distinction between surplus value and profit
> is not only one of essence and appearance but one of levels of
> abstraction, macro
> and micro.
> Because of this denial that surplus value exists at any other than macro
> level,
> Lexis' interpretation (in King's summary) seems more macro more than yours.
> I think Lexis' point is not only that total surplus value can be
> determined before
> micro prices but that total surplus value is not defined as the sum
> of the quantities
> of surplus value produced at individual firms.

Hi Rakesh, thanks for your response.

I don't know what it means to say that an individual firm does not produce
surplus-value, that only the total social capital produces surplus-value.

To begin with (as I am sure you know), the surplus labor of workers
produces surplus-value, not capital, neither an individual capital nor the
total social capital.

Each and every worker produces surplus-value.  The quantity of
surplus-value produced by each worker (Si) is determined by the surplus
labor of each worker (SLi), as follows:

        Si  =  m SLi  =  m (CLi - NLi)          (CL is current labor)
                                                (NL is necessary labor)

The total surplus-value produced by the working class as a whole is
determined by adding up the surplus-value produced by each individual

        S  =  sum (Si)

This total surplus-value is subsequently divided into individual parts:
average industrial profit, commercial profit, interest, and rent.

One could also say that the individual worker analyzed in Volume 1 is the
average worker.  Then the total surplus-value would be determined by:

        S  =  n Sa

The average worker represents all workers together.  The average worker is
the average of all workers.

It is true that workers employed in a single firm do not produce
surplus-value FOR THAT FIRM, in the sense that the surplus-value produced
does not become profit for that particular firm.  Rather workers in
individual firms (and in all individual firms) produce surplus-value for
the total social capital.  And the total surplus-value produced by all
workers for the total social capital is then distributed to individual
industries and individual firms according to the capital invested and the
average rate of profit.

Rakesh, how do you determine the quantity of the total surplus-value?
What are the equations?
Are they any different from my equations above?  If so, how?
If not, then what is the siginficance of the difference you are getting

I am not sure what Lexis did, but Marx clearly defined the composition of
capital and the rate of profit for individual industries, as well as for
the total social capital.  See, for example, C.I., the beginning of
Chapter 25; and C.III. Part 2; etc.  The average rate of profit for the
economy as a whole is the average (a weighted average) of the individual
rates of profit of the individual industries.


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