Mattick

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Tue Jan 17 02:06:45 MST 1995


The passages from Mattick about which Michael Perelman enquired are both to
be found in MARXISM: LAST REFUGE OF THE BOURGEOISIE (Armonk: Sharpe, 1983)
on p. 34 and 62 respectively (the passages are reproduced below).  Both
passages concern the average rate of profit.  Already accomplished here by
Mattick, the critique of the Ricardian treatment of the average rate of
profit, i.e., the form through which the law of value governs capitalist
society, is further (and incisively) developed by Fred Moseley in his
contribution to a volume he edited-- Marx's Method in Capital: A
Reexamination (Humanities Press, 1993).

As I send this citation off, I have just received Chris Burford's post on
Mattick.


>The system as a whole to repeat is nothing other than the combined production
>of all capitalist enterprises: a mass of value and surplus value,
>representing
>socially necessary labor-time quantities embodied in commodities.  This
>mass of
>value and surplus value is at any moment of a definite size, alterable
>only by
>either the destruction or the expansion of capital.  This mass sets the
>limits
>within which each capital can move and therefore to the enlargement of any
>particular capital.  The viability of the system rests then upon the
>distribution of the total social surplus value that assures the expansion of
>the total capital in physical and value terms.  This distribution can
>only be
>exacted by way of capital competition which, without concerning itself
>with the
>distribution of surplus value, effects its distribution nonetheless
>through the
>averaging of profit rates via the profit needs of the individual capitals."

___________________________________________________________________________
>
>"To be sure, the very existence of capitalist society depends on the
>production
>of use values and on their allocation through market relations in the pursuit
>of exchange value.  Accomplished in one fashion or another though capitalist
>competition, as determined by the accumulation of capital, the social profit,
>or surplus value, is distributed in accordance with the magnitudes of the
>various capitals, which reflect, in their existence the social allocation of
>labor.  To bring this about, the general rate of profit must be
>*independent of
>any particular capital and its specific organic composition*, for it is
>only in
>this manner that the use-value requirements of capitalist production can be
>met."

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