Re: [OPE-L] Karl Marx on unequal exchange in the "Grundrisse"

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sat Feb 04 2006 - 10:18:25 EST

(NB: I wrote a longer reply with additional points, but it 'vanished'.  So
here's a shorter version.)

> Jerry, you wrote:
>> That is,  the equality would only hold in general for the world market
>> as a whole (and even then, not all the time), not its component parts.
> That sounds really good, but I don't think it holds true, if you
> introduce the time-factor and such things as credit-money and capital
> gains into the analysis.

Hi Jurriaan,

You will note that that my statement above had a qualification which
concerned the time factor -- "and even then, not all the time."  I
agree that when we consider the temporal factor then the influence of
credit-money should be analysed.  My point, though, concerned primarily
the *spatial* dimension  -- a dimension that has to be considered when
referring to unequal exchange.  The equality between the sum of
surplus-value and the sum of profit is asserted by Marx at the level of
*capital-in-general* (although, I am aware that there are listmembers who
disagree with that statement).  What I am suggesting is we have to ask
whether this equality holds at what I called the "true macro" level --
the level of world markets and capitalism as a whole. It seems to me that
the quote from the _Grundrisse_ and the aggregate equality are not
_necessarily_ mutually exclusive if viewed within that context.  Whether
there actually is or has been an equality at any moment in time or as a
historical trend between the sum of s and the sum of profit for the world
economy, of course, requires empirical verification and can not be

> There is, I think, no necessary equality between total
> surplus-values contained in outputs, and total profit incomes, though you
> can hypothesize, that total profits will normally track total surplus-
> values across time.

Besides the "time factor and such things as credit money and capital
gains", what from your perspective can lead to an inequality between the
sum of s and the sum of profits in the world economy as a whole?

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Feb 05 2006 - 00:00:01 EST