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Tag Archives: Karl Marx

Two Special Cases For The Labor Theory Of Value

1.0 Introduction A simple labor theory of value holds in two special cases. The rate of profits in the system of prices of production is zero. The vector of direct labor coefficients is an eigenvector of the Leontief input-output matrix corresponding to the maximum eigenvalue. I do not know if I've worked through this alone before. A more rigorous approach would prove the uniqueness of the solution. 2.0 The Setting Suppose a capitalist economy is observed at a given point in time. n...

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Marx Against A Simple Labor Theory Of Value

Marx distinguishes, at least, between market prices, prices of production, and labor values. For the first volume of Capital, Marx assumes market prices bob around or tend to labor values, not prices of production. I think Marx nowhere says he is assuming the organic composition of capital does not vary among industries. He adopts the labor theory of value in when considering capitalist production as a whole so as to address the question of how owners of capital are able to regularly obtain...

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Some Notes On Marx On Rent

Marx writes about rent extensively in Part II of Theories of Surplus Value and in volume 3 of Capital. I read Theories of Surplus Value decades ago. I have been trying to read the chapters of volume 3 on rent, that is, chapters 37 to 47. In general, these chapters do not use Hegelian terminology, but are just a matter of mathematical economics. Marx conflates analyses I would keep separate. Maybe this is a matter of a dynamic analysis set in historical time. I suppose I do not have...

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Correspondence Among Marxists

I have been (re?-)transcribing various letters in which various points of Marxism are elaborated. This post is an index of what I have so far. I do not know that I will go on much. Marx to Engels, 2 August 1862, sets out the transformation problem and Marx's solution. Marx to Engels, 18 June 1867, on the order of presentation in Capital. Marx to Engels, 24 August 1867, on the two best points in volume 1 of Capital. Marx to Engels, 8 January 1868, on three original points in volume 1...

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Some Assertions Of Marx And Some Remarks On The Labor Theory Of Value

1.0 Introduction I have been reading fools in other parts of the Internet. Hence this post. 2.0 Assertions Marx says the following (I am least sure of 6): Both sides to an exchange gain. (Capital, volume 1, chapter 5) Nobody, neither consumers, nor workers, nor investors, nor the managers of firms, make decisions on the grounds of the labor time embodied in commodities. (Capital, volume 1, chapter 1, section4) Surplus value (dividends, interest, rent, etc.), in an ideal competitive...

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Marx: Labor Is NOT The Source Of All Wealth

I think most quote the first page of the Critique of the Gotha Program for Marx asserting this: "First part of the paragraph: 'Labor is the source of all wealth and all culture.' Labor is not the source of all wealth. Nature is just as much the source of use values (and it is surely of such that material wealth consists!) as labor, which itself is only the manifestation of a force of nature, human labor power. The above phrase is to be found in all children's primers and is correct...

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A Letter From Marx To Engels In 1868 On The First Volume Of Capital

Over years, I have considered how Marx continues and differs from classical political economy. I have also documented some foreshadowings and outlines of the transformation problem. This is another letter in a series In this letter, Marx alludes to prices of production and the transformation problem. Apparently, he thinks at this time that volumes 2 and 3 will be a single volume. Here he sets out three points which he thinks are original to the first volume of Capital. The first is that...

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A Letter From Marx To Engels In 1867 On The First Volume Of Capital

This is another letter in a series I have been transcribing in which Marx discusses Capital. In this letter, he says one of the two best points in his book is his discussion of labor expressed in use value or in exchange value. Since I have not read (an english edition of) the first edition, I cannot be sure of my ground here. Apparently, Marx revised Chapter 1 quite extensively among editions. Anyways, I think this expression of labor gets at the distinction between concrete and abstract...

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A Letter From Marx To Engels In 1867 On The Order Of Presentation In Capital

This is another letter in a series I have been transcribing in which Marx explains his theory to Engels. In 1867, he was going through the proofs of Capital and so penned several such letters. I think one can ignore Hegel and read Marx as presenting a scientific theory, from abstract principles to more concrete applications. I would not necessarily disagree with those who think such a reading misses much. But I find it interesting how much this reading captures. I like that in this...

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A Iterative Procedure Converging To Prices Of Production

Figure 1: Prices of Corn and Ale in an Iterative Process1.0 Introduction Anwar Shaikh proposed, sometime in the 1970s, I guess, an interpretation of Marx's transformation problem. Marx's solution in volume 3 of Capital is the first step of an iterative process. I thought I might work through this idea with an example from an old exposition of mine. I am not sure how faithful I am to Shaikh's approach. I notice that as I explain it, the equality of total values and of total prices is...

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