Economic Theory and Ideology by Ben Fine PDF

By Ben Fine

ISBN-10: 0713162678

ISBN-13: 9780713162677

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It is not our intention here to pursue these points in greater depth and detail by relating these remarks to Marx's distinction between abstract and concrete labour, the former representing through exchange the reduction of the latter to a common measure of labour-time (but see Chapter 6). In contrast, we want to turn attention away from the relationship between value and a commodityproducing society to the relationship between value and a society based on capital. For then, it can be seen that the existence of labour-power as a commodity and the ownership of the means of production by a separate class of capitalists forges a relationship of confrontation between capital and labour as classes over the production of value.

That money is a means of payment, unit of account and store of value was as well recognized in the nineteenth century as it is now. However, as is easily seen, money plays no role in the construction of the stationary state, in theorizing general equilibrium and in analysing the deviations from these organizing concepts of 'classical' theory. Money simply acts as the neutral Keynes and 'Classical' Theory 33 medium through which exchange takes place. Like the air we breathe, it was as necessary in reality as it was unnecessary in theory.

Finally, the exchange-based treatments of classes can be combined, so that capitalism becomes understood as a system based on the interaction of a distributional struggle between capital and labour and the aggregate demand generated by the resulting levels of wages and profits. Such a theoretical framework is made explicit by Nell (1972) who correctly argues that it underlies the work that constitutes radical political economy and its revival. Our earlier analysis of the aggregate circulation of capital and commodities demonstrate not only how profits and wages are produced, distributed and exchanged, but also how these elements of the economy are reproduced.

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Economic Theory and Ideology by Ben Fine


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