M – C – M’ and the End of the ‘Transformation Problem’



Abstract:  The main reason for rejecting Marx’s theory over the last century has been the infamous ‘transformation problem’.  The critics argue that in Marx’s theory of prices of production he ‘failed to transform the inputs’ of constant capital and variable capital from values to prices of production and thus Marx’s theory is logically incomplete and inconsistent.  This paper argues that Marx did not ‘fail to transform the inputs’ because the inputs of constant capital and variable capital are not supposed to be transformed.  Instead, constant capital and variable capital are supposed to be the same in the determination of both values and prices of production – the actual quantities of money capital advanced to purchase means of production and labor-power at the beginning of the circuit of money capital (M – C – M’) which are taken as given – and thus Marx’s theory of prices of production is logically coherent and complete.  An algebraic summary of this “monetary” interpretation of Marx’s theory is presented in Section 3.  And examples of the textual evidence to support this “monetary” interpretation are presented in Section 4.

Texto completo:



Foley, Duncan 1982. ‘The Value of Money, the Value of Labor-Power, and the Marxian Transformation Problem,’ Review of Radical Political Economics 14 (Summer): 37-49.

Foley, Duncan 1986. Understanding Capital: Marx's Economic Theory. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Keynes, J. 1979, The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes. Vol. 29, The General Theory and After: A Supplement, edited by D. Moggridge, London: Macmillan.

Kliman, Andrew and Ted McGlone 1988. ‘The transformation Non-Problem and the Non-Transformation Problem,’ Capital and Class 35: 56-82.

Marx, Karl 1971 [1861-63]. Theories of Surplus Value, Volume 2, Moscow: Progress Publishers.

Marx, Karl 1977a [1867]. Capital, Volume 1, New York: Random House.

Marx, Karl 1977b [1863]. ‘Results of the Immediate Process of Production’, in Marx, Capital, Volume 1, New York: Random House.

Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels 1992 [1863-67]. Ökonomische Manuskripte 1863-67, in Marx/Engels Gesamtausbage, Section II, Volume 4.2. Berlin: Dietz.

Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels 1988 [1861-63]. Economic Manuscript of 1861-63, in Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 30, New York: International Publishers.

Moseley, Fred 2000. ‘The New Solution to the Transformation Problem: A Sympathetic Critique.’ Review of Radical Political Economics, 32:2, 282-316.

Moseley, Fred 1998. ‘Marx’s Reproduction Schemes and Smith’s Dogma’, in The Circulation of Capital: Essays on Volume Two of Marx’s Capital, edited by C. Arthur and G. Reuten, London: Macmillan.

Moseley, Fred 2001. ‘Marx’s Alleged Logical Error: A Comment on Laibman’, Science and Society, 65:4, 515-27.

Moseley, Fred 2002. ‘Hostile Brothers: Marx’s Theory of the Distribution of Surplus-value in Volume 3 of Capital’, in The Culmination of Capital: Essays on Volume 3 of Capital, edited by G. Reuten and M. Campbell, London: Palgrave.

Moseley, Fred 2008. ‘The “Macro-Monetary” Interpretation of Marx’s Theory: A Reply to Ravagnani’s Critique’, Review of Radical Political Economics, 40:1, 107-18.

Moseley, Fred 2009. ‘The Development of Marx’s Theory of the Distribution of Surplus-Value in the Manuscript of 1861-63’, in Re-reading Marx: New Perspectives after the Critical Edition, edited by R. Bellofiore and R. Fineschi, London: Palgrave.

Moseley, Fred 2011. ‘The Whole and the Parts: The Early Development of Marx’s Theory of the Distribution of Surplus-value in the Grundrisse’, Science and Society, 75, 1: 59-73.

Moseley, Fred 2014. ‘The Universal and the Particulars in Hegel’s Logic and Marx’s Capital’, in Marx’s Capital and Hegel’s Logic: A Reexamination, edited by Fred Moseley and Tony Smith, Leiden: Brill Publishers.

Moseley, Fred 2016. Money and Totality: Marx’s Logical Method and the End of the ‘Transformation Problem’, Leiden: Brill Publishers.

Ramos, Alejandro 1998. ‘Value and Price of Production: New Evidence on Marx’s Transformation Procedure’, International Journal of Political Economy, 28:4.

Schumpeter, Joseph 1954. History of Economic Analysis, New York: Oxford University Press.

Warnke, Georgia 1993. Justice and Interpretation, Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Métricas do artigo

Carregando Métricas ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • Não há apontamentos.

Licença Creative Commons
Esta obra está licenciada sob uma licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.



pesquisa & debate