[OPE-L:4161] Re: competitive wolves with constant and circulating sheep?

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Fri, 7 Feb 1997 05:56:17 -0800 (PST)

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Andrew K wrote in [OPE-L:4160]:

> Imagine a capitalist economy having a single firm that produces corn by
> means of corn and living labor. (I could introduce multiple sectors,
> or multiple firms in this sector, or both, and come to the same results,
> but it would only muddy and complicate things, so let's stay simple).

To begin with, Marx explicitly states that it is the force of
*competition* which compels capital to introduce new, more advanced
constant fixed capital. With a monopoly, as Marx himself noted,
the capitalist is "not compelled by competition to replace obsolete
machinery, etc." and will "exclude improvements as long as possible" [see

Also, if there is a single capitalist alone, then the possibility of a
_redistribution_ of value and surplus-value among capitalists vanishes.
Consequently, the assertion that you would get "the same results" re the
"loss in value" with multi-sectors is at best problematic.

> Corn is circulating
> capital, but not all of it is used during one period (year), because
> some is stored in the barn.

Inventory costs re the storage of constant circulating capital is an
interesting case -- and of contemporary relevance given "flexible
production" ("just-in-time") strategies being pursued by many capitalist

However, I *thought* we were talking about the depreciation of constant
_fixed_ capital. Yet, you now assume a circulating-capital-only
model (or, if you prefer, illustration). Something is amiss.

In solidarity, Jerry