The Marxist Value of the Products of Labour: a Fiction, a Historical Abstraction or a Prototype of Prices under Socialism?

41 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2023

Date Written: August 20, 2023

Abstract

In the paper, we develop the research results presented in the author’s previous works: https://osf.io/tk43d/ and https://osf.io/8tyma/. Firstly, we tried to reveal the mechanism of formation of the general rate of surplus value in the pre-capitalist economy and to answer the question of why Marx called the value an abstraction but a historical abstraction. Secondly, we have shown that Paul Samuelson’s so-called “Rubber algorithm” was justified erroneously. Samuelson’s error is rooted in his confusion about two types of technological matrices: Leontief and Dmitriev, in his analysis of the numerical example of Ladislav von Bortkiewicz. Third, we have identified that the basis of Jan Steedman’s erroneous ‘redundancy criticism’ of value categories is the failure to understand the reality that the technological matrices he uses contain implicit value and distributional categories, i.e., a kind of “Trojan horse”. Fourthly, we have drawn attention to the fact that economists in the contemporary debate on the utility of the labor theory of value overlook the fact that this theory is designed to justify market value prices in the transition period from capitalism to socialism. The paper reveals the first steps towards the justification of an appropriate economic mechanism based on market value prices.

Keywords: Marx; transformation problem; labour theory of value; P. Samuelson and I. Steedman’s errors; the economic mechanism of the transition to socialism; taxation; market value prices

JEL Classification: B14; B16; B24; B51; D58; E11; P16

Suggested Citation

Kalyuzhnyi, Valeriy, The Marxist Value of the Products of Labour: a Fiction, a Historical Abstraction or a Prototype of Prices under Socialism? (August 20, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4546172 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4546172

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