Re: [OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] what is irrational in the functioning of capitalism?

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Fri Dec 01 2006 - 07:05:38 EST

--- Ian Wright <wrighti@ACM.ORG> wrote:

> Hi Ajit
> OK let's cut to the chase as you suggest.
> Marx's theory of value implies the proposition that
> there is no profit
> without surplus labour. It's logically possible that
> there is profit
> without surplus labour. Hence Marx's theory of value
> is wrong.
> My theory of horses implies the proposition that
> they don't talk. It's
> logically possible that horses can talk. Therefore
> my theory of horses
> is wrong.
> This is not much of a critique is it?
This is an incorrect representation of both Marx and
me. Marx's proposition is not that empirically there
is no profit without surplus labor. If this is what
Marx was saying then at the same level one could argue
that there is no profit without without the rain
forest or football, as no body has observed profits in
the absence of either the rain forest or the football.
This will be no theory at all. Now, coming more closer
to your heart, it can also be argued that there is no
profit without surplus of any basic good in which
account one may want to reduce all the other
commodities. The corn theory of value would simply not
allow you to move another step. Now, the proposition
Marx is making is not that empirically profits and
surplus labor are observed to go together but rather
the *cause* of profit lies in surplus labor. This
proposition is simply asserted but never proved by
Marx. Marx has a problem with his falling rate of
profit thesis. He simply cannot allow the rise in the
rate of surplus value to outstrip his rise in organic
composition of capital due to technical change because
that will bring the metaphysical nature of his basic
proposition about labor and value to sharp relief. Now
to your horse analogy: You don't have a theory of
horses. You just have an observation that they don't
talk. If you had said that horses cannot talk because
of this or that reason and somebody showed you that
logically horses could talk because they have the
capacity of whatever talk entails, then of course your
theory of horses will be as good as grass. Cheers,
ajit sinha

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