Re: [OPE-L] price of production/supply price/value

From: Andrew Brown (A.Brown@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK)
Date: Fri Feb 03 2006 - 10:16:56 EST

Yet all these are surely just more concrete phenomena that are assumed
away in the Transformation Problem. At the level of abstraction of the
TP, your argument simply assumes what the TP allegedly shows is not the
case, i.e. that the aggregate equalities hold. Let's put it another way:
to anyone who accepts that the transformation of ch.9, vol. 3 is a valid
level of abstraction to work at, then your argument is flatly
contradictory, absent an argument as to why the prevalent interpretation
of Marx's transformation is wrong. This brings us back to the initial
probs you raised with the TP assumptions, and which Michael L.
amplified. The problem for your argument is that you have to explain
what you think the correct structure of abstraction and causation is, if
you reject both Marx's and that in most of the literature. I found your
argument difficult to fathom because you have an entirely different
structure of causation and abstraction in mind to the one that I work
with (I accept Marx's but not the prevalent interpretation in the

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of Paul Cockshott
Sent: 03 February 2006 14:56
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] price of production/supply price/value

Andrew Brown wrote:

>You wrote: "On the other hand I do not expect that, subject to total
>price=total value, then total profit=total surplus value. I would
>them to be related but only loosely."
>But the way I stated the argument was that, for any individual firm,
>money costs (money measure of c+v) will be close to labour-time costs
>(labour measure of c+v). The logic of this argument is that total money
>costs across the economy must be very close indeed to their labour time
>You also accept that total prices = total values.
>Total profit = total prices (money measure of total s+c+v) minus total
>costs (money measure of total c+v). Both terms of the RHS are also
>to their labour time measures so surplus value must equal total profit.

The problem lies in the difference between formal and real appropriation
the surplus.

Money profit is an accounting entry and is not equivalent to real
appropriation unless quite complex additional assumptions are made -
there being no aggregate workers savings or borrowing, a trade balance

Real surplus appropriation is the amount of labour required to produce
commodities actually appropriated by the capitalist class as new means
production or as personal consumption.

Money profit and real appropriation are not necessarily identical
of the existence of money, and the possibility of any circuit c-m-c
delayed for a longer or shorter period in the m phase.

>So I cannot have stated the argument you are making exactly correctly.
>Presumably the problem lies in the treatment of 'v'. Let me know.
>Many thanks

Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125

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