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By J. Short, Zygmunt G Baranski

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The themes of these two sections are then brought together in order to provide a taxonomic overview of modern debates in value theory. Finally, a short conclusion indicates some implications of current positions for future work. The debates which this chapter considers all fall within a Value Theory 33 broadly Marxist terrain. Critical positions from an anti-Marxist perspective are not here considered. Most of these find their inspiration in the work of Bohm-Bawerk (1949, originally published in 1896).

This is just a definition, but it expresses an important aspect of capitalist reality. For a given amount of surplus generated, the larger the investment the lower the rate of profit. Marx argued that because of competitive pressures, the need to reduce labour inputs and the need to adopt new technologies, the organic composition would increase through time, and thus the rate of profit would have a tendency to fall. However, he also pointed to a range of counteracting tendencies. The rate of exploitation could be increased, either by increasing absolute surplus value by lengthening the working day, etc.

They include the systems of labour relations, state regulation, socialisation, and national and international finance which organise the usual patterns of interaction. They also include the structures mediating raw material supply, the quantity and quality of labour supplied, and political conflict. These are essential to allow expansion, cannot be directly produced by capital for profit, and are as fixed and long-lived as any factory. Restructuring capital means restructuring this matrix of social relations.

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