[Marxism] Critique of Political Economy, Neoclassical and Neoricardian economics

Leonardo Kosloff holmoff10 at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 2 15:17:06 MDT 2011


Chapter 5 of the book by Juan Iñigo Carrera which I’m
helping to translate is up, it deals with Political Economy, Neoclassical and
Neoricardian economics. Chapter 4 I have left for later, it deals with Freud
and Lacan and it’s quite tortuous for me to find the quotes at this point, but
I’m working on the rest which should be up sometime, in the future.

Book: http://www.cicpint.org/CICP%20English/Libros/Conocer/conocer.html

Chapter 5: http://www.cicpint.org/CICP%20English/Libros/Conocer/files/Chapter%205%20(ed).pdf

You can find other materials in Spanish and English too by
browsing a little.

Comments are welcome.

 

Excerpt:

 

Neoclassical economics

 

“If someone thinks that it would be impossible to carry the
ignorance about human

history beyond the limits reached by classical political
economy, they have not yet seen

what neoclassical economics is capable of. Neoclassical
economic theory backtracks in

horror from the point reached by the analysis of classical
political economy and stops its

own analysis at the most immediate appearance, the utility
of commodities. But utility is

not only an attribute of the products of human labor
whatever the modality in which it is

socially organized. It is an attribute of any use value for
human life, even if its

production requires no social labor whatsoever. It is
already here that neoclassical

economics tries to conceal the fact that what is at stake in
the determination of certain

use values as commodities is the material allocation of
social labor under its different

concrete forms. Nevertheless, this is only the first step.

The next step consists in putting the negation of the result
of human productive

activity, of labor, as a second determinant of value:
scarcity. To complete the voiding of

content, it transforms labor, from activity, into a thing;
or rather, into the negation of a

thing. According to neoclassical economics, human life has a
natural state, “leisure”, the

absence of all productive activity. If the religious
consciousness conceives that human

life is possible after death, neoclassical economics
conceives that human life is possible

without human life, that is, without the consumption of use
values which are the product

of labor. In reality, not only does it conceive human life
to be possible without its

specific productive activity –labor-, but even without any
simply animal productive

activity.

Here there is not even an attempt at naturalizing the free
consciousness of commodity

producers, simply a crass falsification. Such is the
vulgarity of neoclassical economics,

that it proceeds by conceiving “leisure”, not as the
negation of productive activity, but

as a thing, as the “good” that human beings possess in their
natural state. At last, then,

appears labor. But it appears not as activity, not as the
bodily expenditure that the

human being needs to carry out as the first step in its
process of metabolism. On the

contrary, for neoclassical theory labor is the renunciation
to the consumption of the

supposed natural good, the sacrifice of “leisure”..." 		 	   		  


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