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

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Thu Feb 09 2006 - 06:24:40 EST

Ian Wright wrote:

>But I am still intrigued about why
>simultaneous determination and uniform profits should cause our value
>theory so much trouble. In the past I have felt that's maybe because
>the "special case" is not a reachable fix-point in a dynamic theory of
>capitalism. But now I am beginning to think that there's a conceptual
>error hidden in the TP itself, which is why I'm mulling it over.
 The reason they cause difficulty is that they represent two different
historical/class standpoints.
The labour theory of value expresses the viewpoint of the independent
artisan or the employed worker. To them, labour is the only source of
The price of production theory expresses the viewpoint of capital - that
capitals self expanding power is the source of all new value.

To the extent that one class or the other predominates in practice, the
two theories approximate better of less to reality.

As the rate of surplus value approches zero, the dispersion of prices
around values will by F&M's argument become smaller and smaller.
Conversely a high rate of surplus value and a preponderance of
capital in the capital/labour struggle will result in a wider dispersion
of the price value ratio and allow the operation of production prices
to come into effect.

Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125

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