Social Scientist. v 5, no. 57 (April 1977) p. 34.


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34 SOCIAL SCIENTIST

increasing organic composition of capital. He must argue that given the logic of the capitalist mode of production, these conditions must generally prevail, thereby arguing that the law cannot be dismissed even under the assumption of a constant rate of surplus value. He,, however, merely quotes statistics.

Crude Empiricism

Similarly in reply to Joan Robinson's criticism that Marx could only demonstrate a falling tendency in profits by abandoning his argument that real wages tend to be constant, Chattopadhyay quotes some data for Indian industry which show a rise in gross productivity of labour, without a rise in real wages or in the rate of exploitation. He then concludes:

Thus Mrs Robinson's argumentsóthat if the rate of exploitation tends to be constant, real wage tends to rise as productivity increases, and Marx could only demonstrate a falling tendency in profits by abandoning his argument that real wages tend to be constantódo not seem to be valid so far as the Indian manufacturing industries are concerned.3

Assuming that his data are correct, they do not invalidate Joan Robinson's arguments unless he can argue that what is true for the Indian industry from 1950 to 1965 must generally be true for all other capitalist countries. Morever his data are wrong. If in India, real wages have remained constant and productivity of labour has increased, the rate of surplus value must necessarily increase, unless the increase in productivity has occurred only in department I. Hi- data about increases in productivity of labour are however not confined to department I. It therefore follows that productivity has also increased in department II. In that case, the rate of surplus value must show an increase. If his data do not show this then they must have been computed in a wrong way. Undeterred by his findings even if they cannot possibly be scientifically explained, Chattopadhyay sometimes gives ridiculous explanations. Thus for example he reconciles his figures, which show a falling profit rate for Indian industry, with the fact of tremendous growth of capitalism in the same period in the following manner:

The Marxist quantity of ^profit" is the same as the quantity of surplus value, and rent, interest and industrial profit are only different names for different parts of surplus value. Therefore, when the rate of profit as defined by Marx tends to fall, the rate of profit as calculated in the capitalist accounting system may remain constant or even rise. Therefore, it is not surprising that in spite of the falling tendency of the rate of profit, there has been a tremendous growth of capitalism, particularly of monopoly capitalism in the country.4

This is possible only if the rate of interest and rent have slashed down.



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