Reclaiming Marx’s ‘Capital’: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency, Andrew Kliman, Lanham: Lexington Books, 2007.

in Historical Materialism
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Abstract

Andrew Kliman’s Reclaiming Marx’s ‘Capital’ sets out to refute the ‘myth’ that Marx’s original presentation of the theory of the value is internally inconsistent. A century ago, Bortkiewicz purported to demonstrate that Marx’s mistake was his failure to adopt simultaneous valuation. Thereafter, twentieth-century Marxian economics worked out a ‘corrected’ version of Marx’s original theory, culminating in Steedman’s 1977 Marx after Sraffa. Conclusions Marx himself deemed central were dropped, prominently including the law of the tendential fall in the rate of profit. But simultaneous valuation is absolutely incompatible with Marx’s first and fundamental premise, the determination of value by labour-time. On the other hand, if Marx’s major theoretical conclusions do consistently follow from his premises, including the transformation of values into prices of production, then the quantitative dimension of his value-theory is internally consistent after all and stands in no need of correction on this score. Advocating a temporal, single-system interpretation, Kliman shows how ‘two simple modifications’ eliminate ‘all of the alleged inconsistencies in the quantitative dimension of Marx’s value theory’: valuation is temporal, and values and prices are determined interdependently. Kliman’s refutation is sound, but his claim to know Marx’s intentions, in E.D. Hirsch’s sense, is questionable.

Reclaiming Marx’s ‘Capital’: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency, Andrew Kliman, Lanham: Lexington Books, 2007.

in Historical Materialism

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