[Marxism] Fwd: Special Page at Monthly Review (My reply to Heinrich) Part I

Shane Mage shmage at pipeline.com
Mon Dec 2 16:11:05 MST 2013

On Dec 2, 2013, at 4:40 PM, shaun may wrote:
> Not wishing to appear pedantic here but merely hoping to dispel any  
> possible confusion.
> Shane's formula for the organic composition of capital (which, of  
> course, is a value relation; a value composition) is given as C/(s 
> +v) at the bottom of part 1. I make no claims  whatsoever for being  
> better versed in Volume 3 than Shane. However, my formula for the  
> organic composition of capital would be C/v. s (surplus value) is  
> not, as I have read Volume 3, part of this value relation. C/v is  
> consistent with volumes 1 and 2 of Capital.

C represents the stock of constant capital (fixed capital plus the  
inventories of circulating constant capital) v+s [v(1+s')] represents  
the total labor-time expended by the productive workers, consisting of  
the value of the real wages plus the surplus value (the two by  
definition summing to the total of hours of productive labor. The  
formula C/v is what Marx calls the "value composition" of capital. But  
he specifies that this is equivalent to Organic composition (the ratio  
between the value accumulated as "dead labor" and the value ["living  
labor"] created in the full time worked by the productive workers)  
only insofar as it reflects  "technical composition"  (which increases  
steadily over time).  Moreover, the value composition can only be held  
to represent the organic composition if the value of the real wage is  
constant (ie., there is absolutely no relative surplus value) because  
"v" represents only the *paid*, but not the unpaid, labor hours.
> Of course, I always reserve the right to be wrong and to be educated  
> by my fellow communists.

Shane Mage

"Thunderbolt steers all things." Herakleitos of Ephesos, fr. 64

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