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Surplus and Surplus Value

Surplus and Surplus Value

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EconomicsReview of Radical Political
 http://rrp.sagepub.com/content/7/4/48The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/048661347500700404 1975 7: 48
Review of Radical Political Economics 
William J. Barclay, JR., Mitchell Stengel, William J. Barclay and Mitchell Stengel
Surplus and Surplus Value
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at University of Sydney on June 25, 2014rrp.sagepub.comDownloaded from at University of Sydney on June 25, 2014rrp.sagepub.comDownloaded from 
 
48
Surplus
and
Surplus
Value
WILLIAM J.
BARCLAY,
JR.
and
MITCHELL STENGEL*
In
the
virtual
renaissance
of
Marxian
eco-
nomics
which
has
taken
place
in
the
last
decade,
the
works
of
Paul
Baran
and
Paul
Sweezy
have
been
extremely,
even
uniquely,
influential
(Baran,
1953,
1957
and
1969;
Sweezy,
1968
and
1974;
Baran and
Sweezy,
1966).**
In
light
of
their
prominence
with
regard
to
Marxian
analysis,
how-
ever,
it
is
interesting,
even
paradoxical,
that
in
one
important
respect,
Baran’s
and
Sweezy’s
contribu-
tions
represent
a
considerable
divergence
from
Marx’s
methodology.
The
theoretical
concept
of
surplus
value,
so
central
to
Marx,
does
not
appear
in
their
best
known
works.
Rather,
a
new
concept,
that
of
the
economic
surplus,
has
been
substituted.
Concomitant
with
the
influence
of
Baran
and
Sweezy,
the
economic
surplus
has
been
widely
adopted
as a
conceptual
framework
for
con-
temporary
analysis
of
both
monopoly
capitalism
in
*We
have
benefited
from
discussions
of
many
of
the
is-
sues
explored
in
this
paper
with
Pat
 Ashton
and
Len
Berkey.
Mary
 Anne
Hering,
Stan
Hildebrand,
Barb
Lelli,
Kathleen
Murphey,
Tom
Sears,
and
two
RRPE
review
ers,
Peter
Bell
and
William
Lazonick,
made
many
helpful
comments
and
criticisms
of
an
earlier
draft.
**&dquo;In
nearly
every
discussion
concerning
the
position
of
Marxian
economics
within
the
U.S.,
the
name
of
Paul
Sweezy
is
raised with
prominence
and
respect&dquo;
(Lif-
shultz,
1974,
p.
54).
Samir
 Amin
classifies
Baran and
Sweezy’s
theory
of
monopoly
capitalism
as
among
the
&dquo;contributions
which
seem
to
me
to
be
of
crucial
im-
portance&dquo;
(1974,
p.
2).
Finally,
Monthly
Review,
of
which
Sweezy
is
cofounder,
co-editor,
and
very
frequent
con-
tributor,
and which
published
many
articles
by
Baran,
es-
tablished
itself
as
an
important
forum
for
Marxian
ana-
lysis
at
the
height
of
the
Cold
War
and
remains
very
in-
fluential
today.
The
affiliated
Monthly
Review
Press
has
published
Baran’s
and
Sweezy’s
major
works
and
is
prob-
ably
the
most
important
socialist
publishing
concern
in
the U.S.
today.
the
metropole
and
underdevelopment
in
the
Third
world.
(See,
e.g.,
Frank,
1969;
Stanfield,
1973
and
1974;
Zeitlin,
1972.)
Yet
this
has
occurred
almost
by
default.
There
has
been
remarkably
little
disussion
of
the
concept
or
of
its
relationship
to
Marx’s
notion
of
surplus
value.
Both
of
these
issues
are
of
central
importance
if
we
are
to
continue
the
successful
development
of
Marxian
political
eco-
nomy
and
if
we
are
to
understand
the
strengths
and
limits
of
its
theoretical
concepts.
This
paper
attempts
these
tasks
and
consists
of
two
parts.
First,
we
examine
the
meaning
of
each
concept
and
the
theory
of
productive
and
unproductive
labor
to
which
each
is
closely
linked.
In
the
second
part,
we
explore
some
of
the
differing
uses
and
implications
of
the
two
concepts.
I.
Definitions,
Concepts
of
Essential
Consumption,
and
Theories
of
Productive
Labor
z
Let
us
begin
by
considering
Marx’s
definition
of
surplus
value:
The
character
and
tendency
of
the
process
M-C-M
[money-commodity-money],
is
there-
fore
not
due
to
any
qualitative
difference
between
its
extremes,
both
being
money,
but
solely
to
their
quantitative
difference.
More
money
is
withdrawn
from
circulation
at
the
finish
than
was
thrown
into
it
at
the
start....
The
exact
form
of
this
process
is
therefore
M-C-M’,
where
M’ =
M
+
.6M =
the
original
sum
advanced
plus
an
increment.This
increment
or
excess over
the
original
value
I
call
&dquo;surplus
value&dquo;
(Marx
1967.
B01.
I,
p.
150).
 
 at University of Sydney on June 25, 2014rrp.sagepub.comDownloaded from 
 
49
The
&dquo;original
sum
advanced,&dquo;
M,
includes
both
the
variable
capital
outlays
by
the
capitalist
for the
purchase
of
labor
power
and
the
outlays
of
constant
capital
for
the
means
of
production
exhausted
in
the
process
of
producing
the
commodity.
It
does
not,
however,
include
the
consumption
outlays
of
the
capitalist
and
of
unproductive
groups
in
general.
 All
of
this
consumption
is
financed
out
of
surplus
value,
S.
In
a
situation
of
simple
reproduc-
tion,
that
is
where
the
means
of
production
and
the
labor
power
exhausted
are
reproduced
but
no
growth
occurs,
consumption
on
the
part
of
unpro-
ductive
groups
absorbs
all
of
the
surplus
value
created.
In
expanded
reproduction,
some
portion
of
S
is
accumulated
for
the
purchase
of
additional
means
of
production
and/or
labor
power
(Marx
1967,
Vol.
II,
chapters
XX
&
XXI).
Surplus
value
is
simply
&dquo;the
monetary
form
ol
the
social
surplus
product&dquo;
(Mandel,
1968,
Vol.
I,
p.
90).
Social
surplus
product -
which
should
nol
be confused
with
economic
surplus
-
is
the
result
of
surplus
labor,
the
labor
performed
which
is
above
and
beyond
the
necessary
labor
required
tc
reproduce
the
producing
class
and
the
means
ol
production.
Surplus
labor
and
necessary
labor
exisi
in
all
class
societies:
Capital
has
not
invented
surplus-labor.
Wherever
a
part
of
society
possesses
a
mono-
poly
of
the
means
of
production,
the
labourer,
free
or
not
free,
must
add
to
the
working-time
necessary
for
his
own
maintenance
an
extra
working-time
in
order
to
produce
the
means
of
subsistence
for
the
owners
of
the
means
of
production,
whether
this
proprietor
be....
Etruscan
theocrat,
civis
Romanus,
Norman
baron,
 American
slave-owner,
Wallachian
Boyard,
modern
landlord
or
capitalist
(Marx
1967,
Vol.
I.
p.
235).
In
fact,
The
essential
difference
between
the
various
economic
forms
of
society,
between,
for
in-
stance,
a
society
based
on
slave-labour,
and
one
based
on
wage-labour,
lies
only
in
the
mode
in
which
this
surplus-labour
is
in
each
case
extracted
from
the
actual
producer ...
(Marx,
1967,
Vol.
I,
p.
217;
see
also
Vol.
III,
Ch.
XLVII).
The
&dquo;mode
in
which ...
surplus-labor
is
...
extracted
from
the actual
producer&dquo;
is
also
the
basis
for
Marx’s
classification
of
labor
as
produc-
tive
or
unproductive.
This
distinction
is
closely
related
to
the
entire
conceptualization
of
surplus
value.
Further,
much
of
the
difference
between
surplus
value
and
economic
surplus
can
be
clarified
by
contrasting
the
divergent
theories
of
productive
and
unproductive
labor
developed
by
Marx
on
the
one
hand and
Paul
Baran
on
the
other.
Nowhere
in
Marx’s
writings
is
there
to
be
found
a
single
inclusive
and
definitive
discussion
of
the
concepts
of
productive
and
unproductive
labor.
Rather,
his
treatment
of
this
matter
is
found
in
scattered
passages
of
all
three
volumes
of
Capital,
all
three
parts
of
Theories
of
Surplus
Value,
and
the
Grundrisse.
The
concepts
are
first
defined
in
the
abstract,
for
the
case
of
production
in
general.
Then
the
definitions
are
narrowed
to
a
form
applicable
to
labor
performed
in
the
direct
process
of
capitalist
production.
Finally,
the
case
of
labor
performed
in
the
process
of
capitalist
circulation
is
considered.*
:
Initially,
Marx
classifies
labor
as
&dquo;produc-
.
tive,&dquo;
in
the
most
general
case,
if it
produces
use
,
values
(1967,
Vol.
I,
pp.
180-1).
In
a
class
society,
j
however,
productive
labor
is
human
activity
that
re-
sults
in
a
surplus
of
use
values
or
useful
services ...
created
by
the
producing
class
and
used
by
the
non-producing
class....
[P]roductive
labor
creates
not
only
surplus
values
but
also
a
particular
social
relationship
of
dominance
and
dependence
between
the
class
which
appropriates
the
surplus
and
the
class
which
produces
it
(O’Connor,
1974,
pp.
10-11;
emphasis
added).
Productive
labor,
then
is
labor
which
contrib-
utes
to
the
wealth
and
expansion
of
the
ruling
class
in
a
particular
social
formation
through
a
historically
developed
social
relationship
of
surplus
product
appropriation.
Thus,
it
also
contributes
to
the
wealth,
expansion
and
perpetuation
of
that
social
formation
itself.
Capitalism,
of
course,
is
a
class
society,
and
the
product
of
surplus
labor takes
the
particular
form
of
surplus
value.
 Accordingly,
in
the
process
of
capitalist
production,
our
notion
of
productive
labour
becomes
narrowed.
Capitalist
production
is
not
merely
the
production
of
commodities,
it
is
essential-
ly
the
production
of
surplus-value.
The
la-
*In
our
discussion
of
Marx’s
treatment
of
productive
and
unproductive
labor,
we
have
drawn
heavily
upon
Gough’s
excellent
article
(1972).
 
 at University of Sydney on June 25, 2014rrp.sagepub.comDownloaded from 

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