By Samuel Hollander
This e-book rejects the generally encountered conception of Friedrich Engels as perpetuator of a "tragic deception" of Marx, and the both power physique of opinion treating him as "his master's voice". Engels's declare to popularity is strengthened via a good contribution within the 1840s to the very foundations of the Marxian company, a contribution entailing not just the "vision" yet many of the development blocks within the figuring out of that imaginative and prescient. for that reason, he proved himself to be a worldly interpreter of the doctrine of historic materialism and an incredible contributor in his personal correct. This quantity serves as a significant other to Samuel Hollander's The Economics of Karl Marx (Cambridge college Press, 2008).
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B. Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy I: On the Classical Literature According to Engels’s account, the eighteenth century saw revolutionary developments in economics, namely the rejection of mercantilism – but with one major restriction: “It did not occur to economics to question the validity of private property” (MECW 3: 419). In fact, “the only positive advance which liberal economics has made is the elaboration of the laws of private property” (421). 48 on Sun Sep 22 05:57:44 WEST 2013.
As for our main concern, private-property organization, Engels once more reverts to the necessity of introducing “competition” into the picture, allowance made for both costs and utility. Here, however, he introduces a fundamental qualification – the characteristic instability of the variables: “But what kind of utility, what kind of production costs, does [orthodox theory] introduce? Its utility depends on chance, on fashion, on the whim of the rich; its production costs fluctuate with the fortuitous relationship of demand and supply” (MECW 3: 426–7).
C. Outlines of a Critique II: Value and Distribution We turn now to technical matters. Controversy over the “value” issue, Engels asserted, was a “modern” affair because the mercantilists had taken no position (MECW 3: 424). He had largely in mind the Ricardo–Say debates, though he makes no specific mention of Ricardo’s labor theory of value, and nowhere seriously explores the source of profits, though what little he had to say suggests that he found it in production rather than in circulation (430–1, cited below, pp.
Friedrich Engels and Marxian Political Economy by Samuel Hollander