Re: [OPE] Services and capital accumulation

From: paul bullock <>
Date: Thu Jan 08 2009 - 17:55:27 EST

  ----- Original Message -----
  To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
  Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 7:05 PM
  Subject: RE: [OPE] Services and capital accumulation

> Secondly, by 'capital accumulation' we mean a growth of the stock of
> *real* capital of the *entire economy*. Thus it is closely related to
> the improvement in the productive capacity of the economy (what I took
> to be 'merit (1)').

  Hi Dave:
  Ah, capital accumulation! I can almost hear Paul Z's footsteps.
  I take capital accumulation to mean the following: it is made
  possible when and because capitalists reinvest capital (in the form of
  money capital) to purchase additional constant capital and
  variable capital. What limits the rate of accumulation, in the first
  instance, is the rate of unproductive consumption........


  the consumption of both capitalists and workers as individuals is unproductive.
  It is the exchange of commodities against revenue and not against capital.
  Your statement is thus incorrect since the reproduction of the working class is a precondition for the expansion of capital not a limit on it.
  Secondly, as I have tried to point out to Paul C. except under extreme conditions, ie those of warfare, the unproductive consumption
  of commodities must grow as accumulation grows and the absolute conception of a 'limit' that you express is inappropriate.
  In the 'normal course' of accumulation the real limit to the rate of accumulation is set by the incapacity of science in the form of C (specifically fixed capital) to cheapen the cost of reproduction
  of labour power sufficiently to overcome cost of applying that science embodied in C, ie the issue of the rising organic composition of capital. The rest is contingent.

  ...........This unproductive consumption takes the form of individual consumption of capitalists
  and monies transferred as revenues to the state.....

  The state itself can take over sections of industry and run them capitalistically. it is the use of money
  as revenue rather than as capital that is critical here, not as you say 'transfer' of money 'as revenues to the state'.

  Faux frais could also be seen, in this sense, as unproductive consumption because it is the use
  of monies for another purpose than purchasing additional c and v.
  Whether service industries contribute towards accumulation depends on
  whether you believe that the wage bill in the service sector represents v
  and, therefore, monies to be paid as wages for _productive_ labor.
  Around in a circle we go ....
  Where do you disagree with this?
  In solidarity, Jerry


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