Frontiers of Political Economy
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Transcending the arid formalism of present-day economic theory, Frontiers of Political Economy develops a new and accessible perspective on the world economy. Guglielmo Carchedi identifies and analyses three key features of modern capitalism: the rapidly increasing share of human labour needed for the advancement of science and technology rather than for the production of goods; the global, rather than national, nature of production, distribution and consumption; and the dominance of the oligopolies.
This analysis enables Carchedi to explore new theoretical frontiers: from an original theory of mental and material labour to an investigation of the conditions under which mental labour produces value; from an assessment of the class structure of modern capitalism to an appraisal of the social content of science and technology; from an alternative account of crises, inflation and stagflation to a study of their relation to the destruction of value and to arms production. He also cast fresh light on a number of basic contemporary issues—including the present financial and monetary crisis—and surveys the most important recent controversies in language accessible to non-specialists.
Rigorous and wide-ranging, but written with great lucidity, Frontiers of Political Economy is an essential book for both specialists and students in economics and politics.
what a commodity should realize. It is the objective process of competition which will “decide” what a commodity is worth. This is its social value. This social value manifests itself as money, that is, money is the necessary form of appearance of social value. The social value of a commodity depends both on the structure of production and on social demand. The structure o f production of a certain branch is given by (a) the number, (b) the size and (c) the level of produc tivity of the capitals
simplest case of the redistribution of value inherent in price formation. This is shown in Table 3.3. Thus what is taken to be the normal case is in fact only a very specific case, im portant only as a heuristic device towards an understand ing of a more realistic picture of reality. Given its simplicity, this result has been chosen as the starting point o f exposition. We first assume both a tendential structure of production and a tendential distribution, as in Table 3.3. Having understood the
L ECONOM Y (concrete labour). This is another reason why the value of a product cannot be said to be created by abstract labour. Even if value were created by abstract labour, it would be the new value which is so created: the other part of the product’s value is transferred by concrete labour. If all these qualifications are kept in mind, the expressions “ value is created by abstract labour” and “ labour is the substance of value” can be used as convenient, but imprecise, short-cuts. 3.7.4 P
66.7% of its product internally at 1 per unit of output and 40/120 = 33.3% to B at 1.25 per unit of output. It would be wrong to assume that 80 capitals sell only internally and 40 capitals sell only externally. Similarly for each capital in B. 36. It is because only one unit of capital is invested in each branch that in Table 3.8 the c3 + v3 + s3 = s, + s2 + s3 condition is not respected. Therefore, the purchasing power of the three branches is either excessive (branch B realizes 100 but needs
important differences. First, under a regime of commo dity money, money must have an intrinsic value in order to be a measure of value, just as a metre must have a length in order to be a measure of length. But when convertible paper money replaces commodity money, a “symbol” of value (Marx, 1967a, p. 127) replaces real value. A symbolic measure of value with no intrinsic value replaces a real measure of value with intrinsic value. This symbolic measure is sufficient for money to perform its