capital - general discussion/non chapter specific thread

24 posts / 0 new
Last post
oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 25 2008 08:32
capital - general discussion/non chapter specific thread

so as to not continually derail the reading thread

revol68 wrote:
Well I'd say that's essentially parroting as it takes what Marx is saying as simply true without any regard for an explanation as to why. Now maybe that's what is necessary in order to get through those chapters and further on where they are explained but it's an extremely frustrating approach that many people struggle with because they prefer to approach texts in an active manner, trying to actually grasp the arguments, solidify them, relate them to concrete things and examples rather than simply accepting assertions on the promise of all being revealed much further, infact as a paedagogical approach I find it rather woeful.

well for that you have to blame the author, that's exactly the intentions of the way marx wrote the thing, his method of exposition is different from his method of enquiry, such that it seems that in the beginning he's simply stating a load of a priori things without any justification for him doing so. it can be off putting, but these things are not properly understood until you work your way through them throughout the whole book as it gradually illuminates and expands upon them as you move through it. in my experience of reading the thing, it does work. If the purposes of this discussion group is to understand capital the way marx intended it to be done, then you have to really stick to what I and others have suggested here which is to contain yourselves to the concepts introduced in each chapter without bringing in other concepts that you may well be aware off, but have not yet been introduced in the unfolding conceptual argument that goes on in the book.

this is perhaps a problem of any reading of capital by anarchists/lefties who have had a wide exposure to terminology and concepts used in capital but have never read the thing, this leads to a jumping ahead based on the preexsiting knowledge which can, as seen by a lot of the discussion above, lead to more confusion than clarification. of course it's natural to jump ahead and it's frustrating to not be able to, but that's all part of the experience of reading something which takes a very dialectical approach to it's structure & exposition. you can't change the way it's been written and the way it's been written is designed in a very specific & purposeful way which requires a certain amount of discipline in sticking to what you've actually learned first from the text that's actually been read before attempting to do anything else with it, this is especially true of the first three chapters of the thing. Also what i'm talking about here is purely to be able to grasp what marx himself actually thought about all these things, once you are in a position to know that then by all means rip it apart, but there's no point in trying to do that until you get the former cracked

(and also listen to BillJ, he's saying exactly the same things as i was saying to you on the other thread about theories of value)

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 25 2008 08:32
revol68 wrote:
Yeah I understand how it is written but like you say it is frustrating especially for people wanting to relate it to their politics and readings of Marx's other writings, it's probably much easier for a classic economics student to read Capital than some arty farty humanity students.

someone who is grounded in classical economics (or any economics) has the same problems to an extent, just from a different perspective - as the whole point of marx's technique is that it takes (predominately english) classical economy, (predominately german) critical philosophy and (predominantly french/english) utopian socialism and rubs them altogether to produce a unique critique that is only properly understood if you do not over emphasis one element at the expense of the others. So economics students/economists, who tend to have a very cold deterministic, logical positivist approach to things and if they take that position when reading capital, will come away with a very one dimensional and deterministic reading of the thing, a reading which misses out on all the richness of the dialectical method (both of enquiry & exposition) and all the other arty farty stuff that you are good at. so the positioning of one aspect over the other leads to a reading of capital that was not intended by the author

revol68 wrote:
Infact I'm wondering if assuming a frozen snapshot of capitals workings requires an acceptance certain objectivist assumptions on some level

i'm not quite sure what you mean by a frozen snapshot of capitals workings, there's two ways of interpreting this statement. firstly it could be a position as discussed above tended to be taken by classical economists that relations actually are fixed, everything is deterministic etc.., or it can be seen as the method marx uses when looking at one element of capitalist economics at certain junctures of capital across the volumes, i.e. to assume something is fixed or constant or a given to remove the clutter from the analysis of something else - this in no way means that he thinks these things are fixed & deterministic in real life, but is just a product of the fact that he is looking at things from a particular 'window' and for the purposes of that he assumes certain things (or he's forced to adopt these assumptions as he's accepting the premises of classical economics and seeking to demonstrate that even accepting these assumptions the thing is still shite), as he moves on throught the volumes he changes this position as he looks at things through different 'windows'.

This method is not specific to capital and indeed it's used largely in most areas of philosophy, science and modelling etc..I think the misunderstanding of this method by people who criticise marx as being deterministic causes no end of confusion as it's a criticism based on a distorted view of what he's doing. Any reading of capital shows how deliciously fluid and dialectical the thing is and how things like nature, technology, labour, capital, mental conceptions etc.. are all wrapped up as internal relations of each other and there's no way that anyone should come away from it with a deterministic view of things, however given that is the type of position that most economists are trained in this is what they tend to come away with - it's also very easy to take quotes out of context and say look this proves he's deterministic but that's a poor way of critiquing the thing. The whole point of capital is that it's not a handbook that you can just open up at a particular section and get the information on it and then leave it and go off and critique it, the whole thing has to be understood in it's totality and then you're in a much better position to then either accept or reject marx's positions on things. This is both a strength and a weakness of the book, which one it is largely depends upon the position & approach taken to reading the thing by the individual reader. I would hazzard a guess though that if you did a straw poll of people who have read volume 1 completely they would say it's a strength, however if you did the same poll amongst those who started to read it but then gave up because of frustuations of some sort (which usually happens in chapters 1 to 3) they would say it's a weakness

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 25 2008 08:53
posi wrote:
To the people who've read all three volumes: do you think there's any point reading Vol I if you're not going to read the other two? And possibly the Grundrisse too?

i think as long as you are aware of the existence of volumes II and III and what they cover, and are also aware that other than the first three chapters, volume I is an exposition of a capitalist society from a standpoint of production and it assumes certain things for the purpose of that exposition which are then 'set free' expanded upon etc.. in the following volumes then volume I in itself stands alone as a worthwhile read in itself

The danger is to read it without this awareness and think that it represnets marx's complete view on a capitalist society, the different volumes are different windows on the world of capital so as long as you know that then you don't run into the problems that a lot of critics do (either purposefully or mistakenly) who criticise things based on something taken out of context with the rest of the work

the first three chapters of volume 1 are not only the 'foundational basis' for the rest of volume 1 but also for the rest of the volumes themselves and also throughout volume 1 numerous references are made to where things are further expanded upon or 'set free' in volums 2 & 3, so by reading volume 1 you do develop a pretty good idea of the different viewpoints/windows of the subsequent volumes and the importance of those perspectives without actually having to read them themselves

the other good thing about volume 1 in isolation is it's the only fully fledged and completed volume that marx actually completed himself, so it's by far the most coherent and logically put together/thought through/inter connected/polished work out of all the volumes

i've never really seen the point of the grundrisse other than as a way of seeing how marx's thought developed over time, he changed his view quite a lot on things since writing the notebooks that make up the grundrisse, so from a point of view of finding out marx's fully fledged out positions on things i'd say it would be better to read volumes I, II & III which are put together largely from stuff wrote in the decade after the grundrisse notebooks were written. I don't know much about it though so someone with a bit more knowledge can probably fill this bit in better than me

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Sep 25 2008 09:46

I didn't re-read the first two chapters yet, got interrupted getting through the Grundisse. However I've read these chapters a couple of times before.

revol68 wrote:
BillJ wrote:

The rest of your post is based on a misunderstanding of the distinction between labor and labor power. The use-value of labor power consists in the fact that its consumption (labor) produces more value than it takes to reproduce that labor power. This is why capitalists can purchase labor power at its full value and still extract surplus value from workers.

As for confusing labour power and labour, well I take issue that capital does purchase labour power at it's ful

Well then in one fell swoop you're disagreeing with one of the central premises of Marx's critique of political economy. His argument rests on the fact that despite purchasing labour at it's full value (the the cost of reproduction of the worker, no matter how historically contingent that might be), exploitation still occurs within the realm of production - which is a separate process from this exchange. The particular use-value of labour-power as a commodity in which it can preserve and add value to other commodities. When you start talking about 'not purchased at its full value', then you get into silliness about how workers can't possibly buy back everything they reproduce yada yada which has no bearing on capitalist exploitation as such.

Quote:
t, for example Wages for Housework, if their demand had been successful would have seen capital paying more for a value it previously externalised (assuming of course capital was unable to recoup this back from assaults on other aspects of the wage, both paid and social).

Well no, not really. The cost of reproduction of the worker includes the costs of maintaining some kind of family life - if we say that the price of labour is historically contingent. What's actually happened, is that as women have been brought into the workforce, wages as such have declined - and hence a single wage-earner in one family with 'externalised' costs is increasingly rare. Not to mention capital's massive incursion into child-rearing in the past 20-30 years with massive expansion of day-care, child tax credits, NVQ courses etc.

The point is not to say that labour is <em>always</em> paid at it's full value, or <em>never</em> paid at it's full value, but to <em>assume</em> that it's paid full value for the purposes of understanding the particular relationships within the production process. i.e. assume that capital and labour really do participate in an equal exchange and then show how this liberty and equality is essential to the process of exploitation.

Having diverged from the first two chapters myself, I do agree with BillJ and others that we should try to keep the discussions focussed - at least split some of these side issues like marketing off into sub-threads (edit, as oisleep kindly did and I hadn't read that far!)

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 25 2008 10:06

that whole argument (about the value of labour power as a commodity) above was done on the theories of value thread by the way

Dave B
Offline
Joined: 3-08-08
Sep 25 2008 17:47

I agree again with oisleep on Grundisse although I have only read sections of it not cover to cover therefore no all of it , but most of it, probably.

It is just Karl laying out his ideas to be built upon later and certainly needs to be read with great care as sometime the ideas put in them are just as much a synopsis of other’s ideas as his own. The same applies, perhaps even more so with, ‘volume IV’ .

That said there is some really good stuff in there, as elsewhere.

For instance there is a ‘big problem’ with Capital as it only concerns Gold money or money backed by gold, where paper money is in effect a certificate of ownership or title deed to gold in existence in central bank vault.

Even if then only about 60%, I think, of the paper money was backed by gold.

They mentioned paper money briefly in Volume one quite soon I think but only to hand wave it away in a page. And in volume III it is mentioned twice I think and again it is dismissed something that requires a separate analysis.

Economies that used paper money not backed by and convertible to gold did exist then notably as they said in Prussia and Russia if I remember rightly.

However Karl did in fact do a brilliant analysis on paper money in 1859. Something for which Milton Friedman won a nobel prize in economics almost 100years later;

Karl Marx: Critique of Political Economy
c. Coins and Tokens of Value

Quote:
Let us assume that £14 million is the amount of gold required for the circulation of commodities and that the State throws 210 million notes each called £1 into circulation: these 210 million would then stand for a total of gold worth £14 million. The effect would be the same as if the notes issued by the State were to represent a metal whose value was one-fifteenth that of gold or that each note was intended to represent one-fifteenth of the previous weight of gold. This would have changed nothing but the nomenclature of the standard of prices, which is of course purely conventional, quite irrespective of whether it was brought about directly by a change in the monetary standard or indirectly by an increase in the number of paper notes issued in accordance with a new lower standard.

As the name pound sterling would now indicate one-fifteenth of the previous quantity of gold, all commodity-prices would be fifteen times higher and 210 million pound notes would now be indeed just as necessary as 14 million had previously been. The decrease in the quantity of gold which each individual token of value represented would be proportional to the increased aggregate value of these tokens. The rise of prices would be merely a reaction of the process of circulation, which forcibly placed the tokens of value on a par with the quantity of gold which they are supposed to replace in the sphere of circulation.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1859/critique-pol-economy/ch02_2c.htm

The whole thing is worth a read.

However Karl didn’t have the obvious example of the 1930’s Germany to go from. However having said that he did rob the idea a bit from some predecessors.

Quote:
"When news of Milton Friedman's death at 94 swept the National Post
newsroom yesterday, some of the younger journalists were surprised
to learn the Nobel economist had been responsible for the theory
that inflation results from too much (fiat or token )money chasing
too few goods. The idea seems so self-evident today that it's hard
to believe that any other theory of inflation could have existed."

http://www.financialpost.com/scripts/story.html?id=f61a158a-aff7-42cf-b433-1ef78ffa20fd&k=78243

Dave B
Offline
Joined: 3-08-08
Sep 25 2008 19:24

Just to demonstrate that Karl did not invent the ‘labour theory of value’ and points of interest in footnotes, as well that an American has made a useful historical imput.

On Benjamin Franklin, who was famous for flying kites;

Quote:
18. The celebrated Franklin, one of the first economists, after Wm. Petty, who saw through the nature of value, says: “Trade in general being nothing else but the exchange of labour for labour, the value of all things is ... most justly measured by labour.” (“The works of B. Franklin, &c.,” edited by Sparks. Boston, 1836, Vol. II., p. 267.) Franklin is unconscious that by estimating the value of everything in labour, he makes abstraction from any difference in the sorts of labour exchanged, and thus reduces them all to equal human labour. But although ignorant of this, yet he says it. He speaks first of “the one labour,” then of “the other labour,” and finally of “labour,” without further qualification, as the substance of the value of everything.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch01.htm

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 25 2008 21:14

well locke got to it (in a rudimentary form) a good 50 years or so before franklin, as did petty a good 50 years or so before locke

it's amusing how market liberals like to hark back to the likes of smith & locke for the foundational basis of their outlook, but can never reconcile the fact that their heroes had pretty much the same labour theory of value that marx had, once marx took it up and showed it for what it was for it had to get squirreled away and replaced with all that marginal utility shite

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Sep 25 2008 21:22
oisleep wrote:
it's amusing how market liberals like to hark back to the likes of smith & locke for the foundational basis of their outlook, but can never reconcile the fact that their heroes had pretty much the same labour theory of value that marx had, once marx took it up and showed it for what it was for it had to get squirreled away and replaced with all that marginal utility shite

ain't it just. i did a business degree, and they still taught Smith/Ricardo but tell you Marx was wrong... because he had a labour theory of value! It was when i actually read The Wealth of Nations, and saw the first sentence saying (from memory) something like "labour is the fund from which the wealth of nations is furnished" i decided i really should read Marx and decide for myself. lol bourgeois education.

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 25 2008 21:52

out of the universities!

Felix Frost's picture
Felix Frost
Offline
Joined: 30-12-05
Sep 26 2008 13:43
Joseph K. wrote:
It was when i actually read The Wealth of Nations, and saw the first sentence saying (from memory) something like "labour is the fund from which the wealth of nations is furnished" i decided i really should read Marx and decide for myself. lol bourgeois education.

I think this is the most famous quote:

Quote:
Labour is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities. The real price of everything, what everything costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. What everything is really worth to the man who has acquired it, and who want to dispose of it or exchange it for something else, is the toil and trouble which it can save to himself, and which it can impose upon other people. ... Labour alone, therefore, never varying its own value, is alone the ultimate and real standard by which the value of all commodities can at all time and places be estimated and compared. It is their real price; money is their nominal price only. (The Wealth of Nations, 1776)
Felix Frost's picture
Felix Frost
Offline
Joined: 30-12-05
Sep 26 2008 14:01
oisleep wrote:
(revol if you're reading this has the contributions from these two done anything to change your view expressed on the 'theories of value' thread that exchange value (or it's money form - price) preceeds, and indeed, determines value?)

Actually, you could argue that in the case of labor power, it is the price that determines its value. That is, the value of labor power is not determined by the socially necessary cost of (re)producing workers, but the socially necessary cost of (re)producing workers are determined by how high a price the workers manage to get for their labor power. The reason for this is that labor power is a special kind of commodity, which is able to rise its price by going on strikes, riot in the streets, organize political parties, etc. Arguing this doesn't necessarily invalidate the rest of Marx's theory of value.

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 26 2008 15:10

that comment to revol was in relation to the value of commodities in general (remember the argument about the sale of the sex robot to revol) not specifically labour power but i'd argue it's the same principal, it just has more clutter around it

it is of course a much more dialectical relationship between the two things, however if you did assert that, you'd need to square that with the bits of capital v1 where marx talks about labour power being paid (i.e. it's price) above or below it's value which he does on quite a few occasions (from memory)

i posted the below on the other thread when this came up again

oisleep wrote:
on the other thread about the value of labour power (as a commodity) i stressed the fact that the value of labour power, i.e. the value of producing it, contains not just the basic things that allows labour to reproduce but contains a historical/moral/social element which is a result of the level of development, civilisaiton etc. within a society, a large part of that value is determined by the relative strengths of capital & labour in class struggle, and all this resolves itself into the value of labour power as a commodity, so no one is saying it's some disconnected thing that's imputed from outside) Now clearly at any point in time this will be a moving thing based on a multitude of factors, however in terms of thinking about this conceptually, marx says that at any point in time, for a particular place, for a particular branch/type of labour, that value is a given, i.e. the value of labour power (including all the class struggle that went into getting it to that level) at a single point in time is a given amount. That is the value of labour power. Now keeping that value constant for the purposes of exposition, if a capitalist pays someone above or below that given value (for whatever reason) at this point in time, this doesn't change the value of that labour power as a commodity, all that happens is that there is now a difference between the price/exchange value of labour (the amount paid) and the value of that labour power (the given value). So it's important to recognise the difference from a conceptual point of view (if you want to understand where marx is coming from, which is very much at the conceptual & abstract level). In real life however where things aren't constant & given, the two things merge into something that is not really clear to see which is which, however at the abstract/conceptual level they are very much different. It's maybe easier to think about the difference in relation to other commodities and not labour power as it contains added clutter so to speak, however the principle is the same

(as an aside, it's important to note that most increases in the exchange value/value of labour power (above inflation) these days actually have the opposite effect of breaking the cycle of reproduction [of the capital relation] as they are based on productivity deals, which means that even though labour gets more money, it is actually exploited more (i.e. more relative surplus value is extracted) which in turns leads to reproduction on an even higher scale)

also to that i'd add that as it's on a social average level, the actual amounts paid at particular places at particular times will always deviate from the social average, whether that's due to short term supply & demand factors, isolated/individual differences in capital/labour class struggle in different areas, impact of movements in and out of the labour reserve fund due to movements in the cycle/capital accumulation/technology etc.... but that's obviously true as well for anything measured on an average

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 26 2008 17:21
Felix Frost wrote:
Joseph K. wrote:
It was when i actually read The Wealth of Nations, and saw the first sentence saying (from memory) something like "labour is the fund from which the wealth of nations is furnished" i decided i really should read Marx and decide for myself. lol bourgeois education.

I think this is the most famous quote:

Quote:
Labour is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities. The real price of everything, what everything costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. What everything is really worth to the man who has acquired it, and who want to dispose of it or exchange it for something else, is the toil and trouble which it can save to himself, and which it can impose upon other people. ... Labour alone, therefore, never varying its own value, is alone the ultimate and real standard by which the value of all commodities can at all time and places be estimated and compared. It is their real price; money is their nominal price only. (The Wealth of Nations, 1776)

prior to smith, locke, the person everyone looks back to to justify private property rights said the same

Quote:
it is labour indeed that puts the difference of value on everything; and let any one consider what the difference is between an acre of land planted with tobacco or sugar, sown with wheat or barley, and an acre of the same land lying in common without any husbandry upon it, and he will find that the improvement of labour makes the far greater part of the value. I think it will be but a very modest computation to say, that of the products of the earth useful to the life of man, nine-tenths are the effects of labour. Nay, if we will rightly estimate things as they come to our use, and cast up the several expenses about them- what in them is purely owing to Nature and what to labour- we shall find that in most of them ninety-nine hundredths are wholly to be put on the account of labour.

and prior to locke, petty says the same as well

Quote:
Here we are to remember that in consequence of our opinion that labor is the Father and active principle of wealth, as lands are the Mother
Bilan's picture
Bilan
Offline
Joined: 26-03-07
Jan 1 2009 05:54

hey, I've been reading capital atm as well.
Though, upon reading, the one section I'm struggling with (I'm only up to Chapter 4, mind you) is that of commodity fetishism.
I may have missed it within the discussion on Chapter 1, 2 (and if I did, can anyone link me to the specific post), but in any case, can someone clarify what this is for me? I don't entirely understand.
Is the basis for commodity fetishism, as described in Chapter 2, that it is a social mediation between products of labour.
"To the producers, therefore, the social relations between their private labours appear as what they are, i.e. they do not appear as direct social relations between persons in their work, but rather as material relations between persons and social relations between things"
And that commodities, essentially, take on mysterious form, '(...) abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties'

Am I on the right track here, or have I gone well off?

Thanks

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Jan 1 2009 12:09

basically that's it. marx uses 'fetish' in its anthropological/religious sense rather than the later sexual one*, therefore commodity fetishism refers to the way in which commodities take on a life of their own; consider the talk about 'what gold is doing this week' for example - the autonomous movement of commodities according to market forces, an 'ontological inversion' by which things rule people. the important thing is this appearance is real and material ("their private labours appear as what they are"), not an illusion. but it is not the whole reality, hence the commodity fetishism of the political economists obscures the underlying social relations (the ultimate target of marx's critique) which are taken as natural.

* this is the most common misunderstanding, people thinking it means getting a hard-on for commodities i.e. consumerism.

Bilan's picture
Bilan
Offline
Joined: 26-03-07
Jan 1 2009 14:06

ah, okay. Thank you very much!

Bilan's picture
Bilan
Offline
Joined: 26-03-07
Jan 1 2009 14:06

ah, okay. Thank you very much!

Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
Offline
Joined: 7-05-06
Jan 1 2009 15:08

http://libcom.org/tags/commodity-fetishism

RedHughs
Offline
Joined: 25-11-06
Jan 1 2009 23:22
oisleep wrote:
it's amusing how market liberals like to hark back to the likes of smith & locke for the foundational basis of their outlook, but can never reconcile the fact that their heroes had pretty much the same labour theory of value that marx had, once marx took it up and showed it for what it was for it had to get squirreled away and replaced with all that marginal utility shite

It is interesting that Smith explicitly articulated what would later be called a two-value accounting system with "real" prices being labor-base prices being the long-term average prices and "market" prices being what is observed. If I remember correctly, Marx actually pointed out that, contrary to Smith, that these two values would not be proportional in the most general case (even if Marx assumed value and price to be proportionate in many examples he). In that sense, I believe that this is one reason some people say that Marx did not have the same labor theory of value as Smith. However, there are a variety of opinions concerning how exactly Marx's LTV differed from Smith's.

888's picture
888
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Jun 21 2011 20:15

Why is the mathematics in Capital so blindingly obvious, yet he feels the need to state it over and over? E.g. if A + B = C, then C = A + B, and C - A = B, but also C - B = A, over the course of many pages...

Like in chapter 9 when he spends several pages demolishing Senior's argument when he could have done so in one sentence, cost of constant capital (etc.) is proportional to the amount of time they are used, it is not an absolute amount per day, independent of how long they are used that day.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Online
Joined: 7-08-06
Jun 22 2011 14:59

From what I've gathered Marx does this because the political economists before him were (according to marx) lazy with their examples. He seems to really like to hammer the point in... he's even worse in the Grundrisse. And while the maths might seem obvious now, maybe it wasn't at the time?

Quote:
cost of constant capital (etc.) is proportional to the amount of time they are used, it is not an absolute amount per day, independent of how long they are used that day.

well, technically this is not correct. if constant capital is not used they might still incur costs (so-called overhead costs, though that 's not Marx's lingo). If you rent/buy a warehouse or a piece of machinery you still have to pay its costs (whether that be rental fee or by the machinery e.g. rusting when not in use etc.) 24/7 regardless of how long they are mixed with living labour in a day. This is an important point (which Marx returns to in the chapter on machinery) because capitalists will try to "use" up his constant capital as soon as possible in order to preserve their value and the only way this can be done is to exploit workers as much as possible by either extending the working day or increasing the intensification of work.

888's picture
888
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Jun 22 2011 18:08

True if you're renting. Also I wasn't sure I was completely correct with my terms. Obviously a machine will wear and tear much more while it is in use than while standing still, and coal etc. will only be used while the machine is in operation (though there may be initial costs in getting the boilers to the right temperature, etc., so it isn't exactly proportional to time used, but much closer to that than to Senior's weird idea).

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Online
Joined: 7-08-06
Jun 22 2011 18:21
Quote:
Obviously a machine will wear and tear much more while it is in use than while standing still

Yeah, but that's not a problem really. It just means that the value objectified in the machinery will be transferred to the finished commodity. If there is wear and tear while the machine is not in use that value is effectively lost.