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New Left Review I/1, January-February 1960


H. D. Dickinson

Falling Rate of Profit

The Falling Rate of Profit by Joseph Gillman. Dennis Dobson 1958. 25s.

the tendency to a falling rate of profit is one of the main buttresses of Marx’s theoretical structure. Marx develops the theory in chapter 13 of vol. III of Capital, basing it on certain relations between the constituents of the social product. The latter is made up of c+v+s, where c = constant capital reproduced, v = variable capital (the wage fund) reproduced, and s = surplus value (the source of all profit, interest, rent and payment of unproductive workers). Then we have three socially significant ratios derived from these quantities. (a) The rate of surplus value, representing the degree of exploitation of labour throughout the economy:



(b) The average rate of profit, which is the form in which the fact of exploitation presents itself to the capitalist and which constitutes the incentive to continue in action as a capitalist:



(c) The organic composition of capital, or the ratio of past-labour-embodies-in-means-of-production to living labour: k = c./v relation:



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