[OPE-L:4227] Profit Rate Determination

Michael William (mwilliam@compuserve.com)
Sat, 15 Feb 1997 15:37:40 -0800 (PST)

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In the course of a discussion about depreciation and profit determination,
John writes:

> Given that capitalists choose techniques on what
> basis do they do so? We assume that the choice
> will be based upon the various anticipated rates of
> profit. But how do they figure the rate of profit?

This is but one example of the unacknowledged slipping in of (relatively
less abstract) issues of capitalist subjectivity into what seems, in this
string, to be an otherwise much more abstract discussion of depreciation
and profit rate determination - at a level of abstraction at which I would
presume capitalists appear only as character-masks.
If we do want to fill in this subjectivity, then surely the place to look
is at the actual decision-making techniques used in various capitalist
firms, either directly by survey, or indirectly by reports of such
empirical surveys in the managerial-decision-making literature, or even
more indirectly in managerial economics texts and articles discussing and
modelling such processes. Our job (that of Marxist Economics, or Marxist
Critique of Economics) is presumably 'only' to critically incorporate
crucial elements of this subjectivity into our capital character mask, and,
if necessary, amend our characterisation accordingly?

Yours in puzzlement,
Dr Michael Williams
"Books are Weapons"

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