Re: I repent for asking

Michael Meeropol

OK --- my last shot and then we will leave it to everyone else ---

On Wed, Oct 6, 2021 at 3:07 PM <gilschaeffer82@...> wrote:

Did the sharp rock add to production? Yes. The rock by itself couldn't produce anything, but in combination with  labor it added to the productivity of this new form of labor.

The rock increased the productivity of the labor --- it took longer (and maybe it was not as good a "product") before the group discovered the sharp-edged rock.  That was the USE VALUE the rock created --- the increased productivity.  But the USE of the rock did not mean that the ROCK itself produced surplus value --- to produce surplus value the "thing" that produces the surplus value must COST less than the value it adds to the final product.   (and human labor is the only "element that is involved in production" [what the mainstream calls "factors" of production] that produces more than its value).   All machines have exchange value --- and that is their contribution to the value of the product it produces with the labor --- It is Marx's contention that when the machine increases the productivity of labor, the rate of exploitation of that labor rises --- 
basically what I'm trying to argue is that machines cannot be exploited as human beings can ....

And like the production and reproduction of labor power, the cost in labor time to produce the sharp rock results in an increase in production greater than could have been produced by using labor time in the old way at the lower level of technology.
This is the USE VALUE of the machine ...

Marx wants to come into this situation and say the rock does not add any value.

NO --- it contributes to the value of the product it helps produce --- it's just that it contributes exactly what it cost
He breaks any connection between value and productivity and says tools add no value.

again -- the tool adds the value that it costs --- labor adds a value GREATER than it costs ...
This disconnect is why Marx's price theory can't work and why exploitation alone cannot give a full account of how capitalists make profit.

you are right on the first half but not on the second =--- yes, because of the equalization of rates of profit despite differences in the organic composition of capital prices of production are DIFFERENT from labor values for specific products --- this leads to the so-called transformation problem which either IS or is NOT solved by Bortkeivic (and Sweezy) and many others --- 

The second part does a great job of explaining the source of profit --- the "bargain" at the point of production where capitalists can wring surplus value from workers except in VERY RARE circumstances (labor shortage, top of the business cycle, etc.)
I don't pretend to have worked this out on my own. I have taken most of it from Chapter 4 of Gavin Kitching's Karl Marx and the Philosophy of Praxis, which goes into more detail about how Marx mixes up his accounting categories of price and value.
HERE I would probably agree though I haven't read that book --- I've always been sceptical of the solutions to the "transformation problem" ...but this is the PRICE theory failure of the LTV --

I think we've both exhausted our arguments --- thanks for your patience ---

Join to automatically receive all group messages.