[OPE-L:2022] Re: Re: Re: Determination of Value

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Tue Jan 04 2000 - 10:19:09 EST

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Re Andrew K's [OPE-L:2021]:

> Dumenil and Levy actually don't discuss different interpretations
> of Marx's theory of the determination of the value transferred.
> Section 2.3 instead deals with whether the value of capital can
> be altered in the aggregate due to devaluation, which is a
> different issue. According to the TSS interpretation of Marx's
> value theory, the value transferred to the product is the
> pre-production cost of the means of production. By itself, this
> does not imply that devaluation fails to alter aggregate value.
> My previous post gave a misleading account of how Dumenil/Levy use
> the term "conservation." Rereading the paper, I see that they use
> it to cover both issues because, they suggest (section 1.1.),
> sequential determination of value transfer is a "consequence" of
> the preservation of aggregate value. In the sense in which they
> use the term consequence -- if aggregate value is conserved, the
> sum of value transferred cannot be determined simultaneously with
> the prices or values of outputs -- this is true. Yet preservation
> of aggregate value is not a consequence of the sequential
> determination of the sum of value transferred. Aggregate value may
> not be preserved even though the sum of value transferred is
> determined sequentially.

Thanks again for the clarification -- even though I am still a bit

You write that "preservation of value is not a consequence of the
sequential determination of the value transferred", but:

a) it does seem to be a major issue for the D/L paper which is a rejoinder
to Alan's 1996 article on "Price, Value and Profit" in the Freeman and
Carchedi eds. _Marx and Non-Equilibrium Economics_ book. Thus, D/L write
in the abstract to their paper: "Our main criticism is that sequential
values fails to account for the devaluation of capital, when the economy
is considered globally. Devaluation is possible for individual commodities
in Freeman's framework, but the loss of value is always compensated by a
corresponding gain for another commodity".

b) Alan's treatment of moral depreciation (see his "Links" article) does
put forward a conservation of value principle in which the losses to
individual capitalists as a result of devaluation of constant fixed
capital are exactly equal to the gains in value for other capitalists.
I.e. moral depreciation constitutes a transfer of value rather than the
possibility of a decrease in aggregate value.

Perhaps the source of the confusion -- on my part -- is that the D/L
article claims to be both an answer to Alan *and* a critique of
sequentialist perspectives. Yet, it may perhaps be more appropriately
thought of as *just* a "rejoinder" to Alan since there are apparently
differences in perspective among TSSers about how to treat moral
depreciation. And, indeed, we have seen in the past on this list that your
perspective on that subject may be different from that of John and John's
perspective may be different from that of Alan, etc.

In solidarity, Jerry

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