Unibg International

Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods

Reading the Grundrisse

Area bacheca: 820&

h) Fred Moseley (Mount Holyoke College, USA)
The Whole and the Parts. The Beginning of Marx's Theory of the Distribution of Surplus-Value in the Grundrisse

The Grundrisse is mainly about the production of surplus-value, i.e. the determination of the total surplus-value produced in the sphere of production in the capitalist economy as a whole. However, there are several brief discussions or comments about the distribution of surplus-value, i.e. the division of the total surplus-value into individual parts, especially the equalization of rates of profit across industries.

This paper reviews these initial discussions of Marx's theory of the distribution of surplus-value in the Grundrisse. It is seen that in this early work Marx clearly stated the key logical premise of his theory that the total surplus-value is determined prior to its distribution, and that this total amount is not affected by the distribution of surplus-value. It is argued further this relation between the production of surplus-value and the distribution of surplus-value is the quantitative dimension Marx's logical structure of capital in general and many capitals (or competition).