Marx’s theory of value is based on labour-time expended in the sphere of production. His theory of distribution is concerned with analysing the way or relationships by which value is distributed in society, and this chapter considers some of these distributional relationships. Clearly the distribution theory presupposes the value theory, but it should not be confused with a price theory. Rather the relations of distribution can be thought of as a framework which explains the sources of income under capitalism, and in which the quantitative distribution of income to those sources may be studied. In contrast a price theory would depend upon the factors determining supply and demand. These are exhaustively described by orthodox theory, but the description reveals few secrets. In this case they can only be uncovered by examining the relations of distribution and their development. These in turn depend upon the development of the relationship between the relations of and forces of production.
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