[OPE-L:6410] [OPE] What is prior?(was: two rates of profit)

Alan Freeman (a.freeman@greenwich.ac.uk)
Fri, 03 Apr 1998 15:07:00 -0600

Fred [Mon, 30 Mar 1998 12:41:48 -0500 (EST)] writes:

>Marx's theory is based on the methodological principle that the total
>amount of surplus-value is determined prior to its distribution or
>division into individual parts."

I don't disagree with this as it stands; however I feel a more fundamental
principle is that the total amount of value is determined independent of
its distribution or division into individual parts as Chris's comments
[Tue, 31 Mar 1998 12:41:33 +010] indicate

I would thus modify Fred's presentation of the principle in two respects.
First, the magnitude of value - not just surplus-value - is independent
of distribution. Second, I use the word 'independent' instead of the
words 'determined prior' because of the ambiguity of the word 'prior'.

The decisive point is that distribution does not enter into the
determination of the magnitude of value.

Fred's principle follows as a consequence of this epistemologically
more general principle, which I think is Marx's actual operating
principle, as many texts indicate.

Does Fred agree with this?