Wednesday, April 11, 2018

David F. Ruccio — Utopia and value theory

Mainstream economists refer to it as price theory, everyone else value theory. But whatever it’s called, it’s at the center of economists’ differing explanations of what happens in (and alongside) markets.
As I see it, price/value theory serves as the framework to explain a wide range of phenomena, from how and for how much commodities are exchanged in markets through the determinants of the distribution of incomes to the outcomes—for the economy and society as a whole—of the allocation of resources and commodities through markets.
And each price/value theory has a utopian dimension. It’s not just an accounting for and an explanation of the conditions and consequences of commodity exchange; it’s also a way of thinking about the fairness and justice of markets. It therefore informs (and is informed by) a utopian horizon within and beyond markets.
Let me explain.…
Excellent short explanation of a key economic idea that functions as a political weapon in the class war.
The differences between neoclassical price theory and Marxian value theory couldn’t be more stark. The differences are even more dramatic when we compare their utopian horizons. Whereas neoclassical price theory leads to a utopian celebration of capitalist markets, Marxian value theory both informs and is informed by a utopian critique of capitalist exploitation—and therefore a movement beyond capitalism.
The question is how surplus value is created. Surplus value becomes profit (owners' share by fact of ownership), which is income that is not earned since it is the difference between proceeds and wages.
In both cases—neoclassical price and Marxian value theory—the story about commodity exchange, and therefore the analysis of the form that wealth takes under capitalism, has a utopian dimension. The two theories have that in common. Where they differ is the form that utopian dimension takes....
Occasional Links & Commentary
Utopia and value theory
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

See also

Michael Roberts Blog
Inequality and exploitation
Michael Roberts

See also

Monthly Review
The Multiple Meanings of Marx’s Value Theory
Riccardo Bellofiore

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