From Fetishism to ‘Shocked Disbelief ’: Economics, Dialectics and Value Theory

In: Historical Materialism
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  • 1 Department of Political Science, York University

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Abstract

The recent arrival of From Economics Imperialism to Freakonomics by Fine and Milonakis is especially propitious given the context of the Great Recession of 2008 – and the associated decline of public faith in the verities of mainstream economics. Fine and Milonakis provide a magisterial critical survey of contemporary economics and demonstrate the need for a ‘new and truly interdisciplinary political economy’ capable of ‘incorporating the social and historical from the outset’. But their cause requires the explicit development of value analysis within the framework of dialectical social theory. This requires foregrounding the ways in which Marx’s categories in Capital are from the start historical precipitates that acknowledge their own inherent historicity.

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  • 1.

    Greenspan 2008.

  • 2.

    Fox 2009.

  • 3.

    Fine and Milonakis 2009.

  • 6.

    Smith 1976, Chapter 6.

  • 8.

    See Marx 1976, pp. 173–6, nn. 33–5.

  • 10.

    Heilbroner 1979, p. 196.

  • 14.

    See Clement 2007.

  • 15.

    Stockhammer 2004, p. 723.

  • 16.

    Krugman 2009.

  • 17.

    Fine and Milonakis 2009, Chapter 3.

  • 19.

    Fine and Milonakis 2009, p. 82.

  • 20.

    Zelizer 1988 and 1994.

  • 21.

    Fine and Milonakis 2009, pp. 161, 162.

  • 22.

    Fine and Milonakis 2009, pp. 162–3.

  • 23.

    Fine and Milonakis 2009, p. 173.

  • 24.

    Marx 1976, p. 167.

  • 25.

    Milonakis and Fine 2009, pp. 59–60, very effectively make just this point.

  • 26.

    Marx 1976, pp. 173–5, nn. 33–5. In the philosophical vocabulary familiar to Marx, this means interrogating the conditions of possibility of capitalism itself.

  • 27.

    Marx 1976, p. 926.

  • 30.

    Ollman 1971, p. 14.

  • 32.

    Ollman 1971, p. 17.

  • 33

    Maksakovsky 2009, pp. 45–6.

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