[OPE-L:6420] Re: What is prior?(was: two rates of profit)

Paul Cockshott (wpc@faraday.org)
Mon, 06 Apr 1998 09:32:34 +0100

Alan Freeman wrote:

> 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'.

I take it Alan, that by this you mean the magnitude of value in terms ofhours
of labour. You clearly do not mean magnitude of exchange value
because by specifying total value you are abstracting from exchange
between its component parts.

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