[OPE-L:4232] Re: The Effect of Turnover on the Rate of Profit

john erns (ernst@pipeline.com)
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 12:28:16 -0800 (PST)

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At 08:00 AM 2/16/97 -0800, Jerry in 4231 wrote:
>John wrote in [OPE-L:4229]:
>> I am simply asking what is the rate of profit for a given investment in
>> fixed capital assuming the gross returns to that investment are known
>> for the number of periods that make up the life of that fixed capital.
>> That's it.
> Jerry:
>You seem to be assuming that an answer to that question would have
>represented the major content of V3, Ch 4. What is the basis for that

John: The title of the chapter.

John, earlier:
>> 6. Put simply, the level of abstraction on which I feel the question
>> can and should be answered is that of Chapter 4 of Vol. III. Marx's
>> blank page seems to present us with a bit of work to do.
>Well ... what is the level of abstraction of Ch. 4?
John: I am not even going to try to name the various levels of abstraction
for chapters in CAPITAL. Call it what you will.

>Might it not be useful to consider the possible content of Ch. 4 in
>relation to:
>a) Part One of V3 ("The Transformation of Surplus-Value into Profit, and
> of the Rate of Surplus-Value into the Rate of Profit"), noting the
> logic of the divisions by chapter (Ch 1: "Cost-Price and Profit";
> Ch. 2: "The Rate of Profit"; Ch. 3: "The Relationship between Rate of
> Profit and Rate of Surplus-Value"; Ch. 5 "Economy in the Use of
> Constant Capital; Ch. 6 "The Effect of Changes in Price" [including the
> "Revaluation and Devaluation of Capital; Release and Tying-up of
> Capital"]; and Ch. 7 "Supplementary Remarks")? I.e. if one is looking
> for "clues" about the possible content of Ch. 4, shouldn't one consider
> the logical place of that chapter in relation to other chapters in the
> same part of _Capital_ and the basis for the logical transition among
> chapters?
>b) Other comments later in V3 on the influence of the turnover of capital
> on the rate of profit? [see pages 242-3, 333, and 424-5 in the
> Penguin edition and/or pages 152, 228-229 in the International (1967)
> edition].
>c) Since the drafts for V2 on turnover were written after the drafts for
> V3, Part One, might not an investigation of the contents of V2 help us
> consider the possible contents of V3, Ch. 4?
>d) Commentary by Marx in the Economic Manuscripts of 1857-58 and 1861-63
> of possible relevance to the relation of the turnover of capital to the
> rate of profit?

I think what you say in "c)" is true and think that by and large that is
exactly what Engels did when he wrote the chapter. By and large the
other references you provide are to sections of CAPITAL written after the
stuff in Vol. II.