Reconfirming Karl Marx's rate of surplus value


  • *This manuscript was received in June, 1983, and accepted in July, 1983.


In Van Den Berg and Smith's comment that precedes this reply, I note their concession to the major conclusions of my 1982 comment. They no longer directly challenge my conclusions 1 / that there has been a general increase in the exploitation of labour by capital in the twentieth century despite fluctuations from decade to decade, nor 2 I the positive correlations between the rate of surplus value and strikes, especially between 1945 and 1966. Instead, they concentrate on minor methodological points that have little bearing on the thrust of my research. In this lies their major weakness: by narrowly focusing on a partial ‘critique’ of my critique of their ‘critique’ of my original research (Cuneo, 1978), Van Den Berg and Smith lose sight of the original research hypotheses, and end up trying to defend errors committed in their original commentary.