[Marxism] Invisible Leviathan – Marx’s law of value in the twilight of capitalism | Michael Roberts Blog

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Apr 6 05:49:04 MDT 2019

The message of Murray Smith’s book is aptly portrayed by its title, 
Invisible Leviathan. The book sets out to explain why Marx’s law of 
value lurks invisibly behind the movement of markets in modern 
capitalism and yet ultimately explains the disruptive and regular 
recurrence of crises in production and investment that so damage the 
livelihoods (and lives) of the many globally.

This book is a profound defence (both theoretically and empirically) of 
Marx’s law of value and its corollary, Marx’s law of the tendency of the 
rate of profit to fall, against the criticisms of bourgeois, 
‘mainstream’ economics, the sophistry of ‘academic’ Marxists, and the 
epigones of the classical school of David Ricardo and Adam Smith. As the 
author points out, even the great majority of ‘left’ commentators concur 
that the causes of the ‘Great Recession’ of 2007–09 and the ensuing 
global slump are not to be found in Marx’s theories, but rather in the 
excessive greed of corporate and financial elites, in Keynes’s theory of 
deficient effective demand, or in Minksy’s theory of financial 
fragility. When acknowledged at all, Marx’s value theory and his law of 
profitability are attacked, marginalised or dismissed as irrelevant.


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