Law of Value and Theories of Value

Symmetrical Critique of Classical and Neoclassical Political Economy


In Law of Value and Theories of Value, Tiago Camarinha Lopes presents the genesis of Karl Marx’s understanding of the law of value by showing that the labor theory of value of utopian socialists and the utility theory of value of the Marginalist Revolution are equally hit by Marx’s Critique of Political Economy.

Following Marx’s distinction between classical and vulgar economy, Camarinha explains the difference between a reactionary and a progressive strand in the world of non-Marxian economics. Commonly portrayed as a dated work targeting the general framework of economic thought of the 19th century, Das Kapital appears here as the blueprint for the ongoing construction of economic science of the working class in any period of History.

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Tiago Camarinha Lopes, Ph.D. (2015), Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, is Professor of Economics at Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil. His publications on value theory include Reviving the Cambridge Controversy by Combining Marx with Sraffa (World Review of Political Economy, 2013) and Technical or political? The socialist economic calculation debate (Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2021).

List of Figures


1The Independence of the Science of Value

2The Law of Value in Classical Political Economy
 1 The Law of Value as the Invisible Hand

 2 The Law of Value as Exchange of Equivalents

 3 The Law of Value as Contradiction between Value and Price

3The End of Classical Political Economy Value or Price?

4Value The Naturalization of the Labor Theory of Value in Utopian Socialism
 1 Appropriation of Political Economy by the Labor Movement

 2 The Laborer’s Theory of Value of Utopian Socialists

 3 The Right to the Full Results of Labor

 4 The Naturalization of the Labor Theory of Value

 5 Desideratum of Utopian Socialism: Simple Commodity Production

5Price The Naturalization of the Utility Theory of Value in the Marginalist Revolution
 1 Seizure of Political Economy by Capital

 2 The Consumer’s Theory of Value in Jevons, Menger and Walras

 3 Output as a Relation between Human and Nature

 4 The Naturalization of the Utility Value Theory

 5 Desideratum of the Marginalist Revolution: Simple Commodity Production

6Marx’s Path to Political Economy

7The Law of Value in Marx’s Critique of Political Economy
 1 Marx’s Theory of the Commodity

 1 The Law of Value as Unity of Value and Price

 2 The Law of Value as Lack of Control over Economic Reproduction

 3 The Law of Value as an Objective Phenomenon

8The Law of Value under the Rule of Capitalist Economic Planning
 1 Capitalist Economic Planning

 2 The Aim of Capital

Final Remarks



All interested in theoretical Political Economy, especially value theory and history of economic thought. Students of economics, political science, social sciences. Authors engaged with the relationship between Marxism and economics
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