Karl Marx and the Close of His System - Böhm-Bawerk by Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk , Rudolf Hilferding , Ladislaus von

By Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk , Rudolf Hilferding , Ladislaus von Bortkiewicz

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Additional info for Karl Marx and the Close of His System - Böhm-Bawerk Criticism of Marx - On the Correction of Marx's Fundamental Theoretical Construction in the Third Volume of Capital

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Therefore the yarn that has been spun is, as a whole, the product of thirty hours of labor, and will have accordingly a value of fifteen shillings. On the supposition that the capitalist has made the hired laborer work only six hours in the day, the production of the yarn has cost him at least fifteen shillings: ten shillings for cotton, two shillings for wear and tear of tools, three shillings for wages of labor. Here there is no surplus value. It is quite a different thing, however, if the capitalist makes the laborer work twelve hours a day.

The real world, however, most plainly shows that it is governed by the law that capitals of equal amount, without regard to possible differences of organic composition, yield equal profits. We will let Marx explain this contradiction in his own words. "We have thus shown that in different branches of industry varying rates of profit are obtained according to the differences in the organic composition of the capitals, and also, within given limits, according to their periods of turnover; and that, therefore, even with equal rates of surplus value, there is a law (or general tendency), although only for capitals possessing the same organic composition—the same periods of turnover being assumed—that the profits are in proportion to the amounts of the capitals, and therefore equal amounts of capital yield in equal periods of time equal amounts of profit.

The relation of the individual capitalists to the total surplus value created and appropriated in the whole society is finally illustrated in the following manner: "Although the capitalists of the different spheres of production in selling their commodities get back the value of the capital used up in the pro- The Average Rate of Profit 25 auction of these commodities, they do not thereby recover the surplus value, and therefore profit, created in their own particular spheres, by the production of these commodities, but only so much surplus value, and therefore profit, as falls by an equal division to every aliquot part of the whole capital, from the total surplus value or total profit which the entire capital of society has created in a given time, in all the spheres of production taken together.

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