Sunday, 16 November 2014

8) The Constant Capital in Both Departments

Department I c 4000 + v 1000 + s 1000 = 6000

Department II c 2000 + v 500 + s 500 = 3000

“The analysis of the total value of the product of 9,000, and of the categories into which it is divided, does not present any greater difficulty than that of the value produced by an individual capital. On the contrary, they are identical.

The entire annual social product here contains three social working-days, each of one year. The value expressed by each one of these working-days is 3,000, so that the value expressed by the total product is equal to 3 × 3,000, or 9,000.” (p 433)

The new value produced in the year we have seen, however, amounted to £3,000 or the equivalent of one social working day. The remaining £6,000, or equivalent of two social working days, are then clearly the product of previous years, but whose value is incorporated in this year's output.

“In department I four-thirds of a working-day (with a product worth 4,000), and in department II two-thirds of a working-day (with a product worth 2,000), making a total of two social working-days with a product worth 6,000. For this reason 4,000 Ic + 2,000 IIc = 6,000c figure as the value of the means of production, or the constant capital-value re-appearing in the total value of the social product.” (p 433)

With a 100% rate of surplus value, we know that half of the social working day is required to reproduce the variable capital. That is it is necessary labour. It constitutes a third of a working day or £1,000 in Department 1, and one sixth of a working day or £500 in Department 2. Similarly, £1,000 in Department 1 and £500 in Department 2 constitute surplus labour.

“Thus:

The constant capital portion of the value of the social product (c):

Two working-days expended prior to the process of
production; expression of value = 6,000.

Necessary labour (v) expended during the year:
One half of a working-day expended on the annual
production; expression of value 1,500.

Surplus-labour (s) expended during the year:
One half of a working-day expended on the annual
production; expression of value = 1,500.

Value produced by annual labour (v + s) = 3,000.
Total value of product (c + v + s) = 9,000.

The difficulty, then, does not consist in the analysis of the value of the social product itself. It arises in the comparison of the component parts of the value of the social product with its material constituents.” (p 433-4)

The essential point here is that the value breaks down into two parts. One part is the constant capital. None of that value is newly produced. It is merely existing value that has been transferred. The second part is the newly created value, and it is entirely made up of the means of consumption. This latter component itself comprises the value of the necessary labour and the surplus labour. The value of these two components also has its material equivalent in the means of subsistence consumed by the workers and the unproductive consumption of the capitalists.