Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Capital III, Chapter 3 - Part 13

2) s' and v variable, C constant

Here, the rate of profit varies in accordance with the quantity of surplus value. However, I would again point out that it is very unlikely for all the reasons outlined, in previous examples, that any change in v is going to occur without a consequent change in C. If variable capital remains constant and the rate of surplus value rises, more surplus value is produced and vice versa. If the rate of surplus value remains constant and the variable capital increases, more surplus value is produced, and vice versa. If both vary in the same direction, they reinforce each others movement, i.e. a rise in the rate of surplus value combined with a rise in variable capital causes surplus value to rise from both causes, and vice versa. If the rate of surplus value rises, but variable capital declines, one counteracts the other, and then it depends which changes by the bigger proportion.

An increase in the variable capital means the amount of new value produced increases, provided this is not just a reflection of an increase in wages. With constant wages, a rise in variable capital means more labour-power employed and consequently more value created and vice versa. A rise in the rate of surplus value means a change in the distribution of the value created, away from the workers and towards surplus value, and vice versa.

a) v and s' vary in opposite directions, by the same amount.

“80c + 20v + 10s; s' = 50%, p' = 10% 

90c + 10v + 20s; s' = 200%, p' = 20%” (p 66) 

In both cases, the new value produced equals 30, but is divided 20 v and 10 s in one, and 10 v, 20 s in the other.

“This is the only case in which the number of labourers, the intensity of labour, and the length of the working-day remain unchanged, while v and s' vary simultaneously.” (p 66)

Here the rise in s' suggests a rise in productivity. That would suggest a fall in c. The rise in C could then only occur with a large increase in the physical amount of c to compensate for the fall in its value. 

b) v and s vary in opposite directions by different amounts. One, therefore, outweighs the other.

“I. 80c + 20v + 20s; s' = 100%, p' = 20% 

II. 72c + 28v + 20s; s' = 71 3/7%, p' = 20% 

III. 84C + 16v + 20s; s' = 125%, p' = 20%.” (p 66) 

The rise in v from I to II (20-28) suggests more labour-power employed. That would require more constant capital unless the productivity of this labour fell, which is suggested by the fall in s'. However, that would also then suggest a rise also in the value of c, which could then only fall from 80 to 72, if the quantity processed fell by an even greater proportion.

The fall in v from 20 to 16 shown in I and III, suggests a reduction in labour-power employed and rise in productivity, leading to the rise in s'. The fall in v would suggest a reduction also in c, as less labour-power uses less c. However, the rise in productivity could counterbalance this meaning the reduced labour is able to process more material. However, the increased productivity would suggest also a reduced value of c, so for c to rise from 80 to 84, requires a much greater increase in the quantity processed.

c) v and s' change in the same direction

“90c + 10v + 10s; s' = 100%, p' = 10% 

80c + 20v + 30s; s' = 150%, p' = 30% 

92c + 8v + 6s; s' = 75%, p' = 6%” (p 66) 

Each variation reinforces the other. The increase in v from 10 to 20 means more labour-power employed, which in turn requires a greater quantity of material to process, suggesting the value of c should rise. However, c is shown as falling from 90 to 80. As s' also rises, this suggests a higher level of productivity, which would mean even more material would be processed by the given number of workers, which makes he fall of c from 90 to 80 even more incongruous. The only way this could happen is if the level of productivity for the producers of these means of production, rose much faster than for the particular firm.

The increase in c from 90 to 92, given between I and III, with v falling from 10 to 8, are incongruent for the same reason.

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