Title: The shift from contradiction to redundancy in the critique of the labour theory of value

Authors: Tiago Camarinha Lopes

Addresses: FACE, UFG, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Campus Samambaia – Rodovia Goiânia/Nova Veneza, Km 0 – Caixa Postal 131, CEP 74001-970, Goiânia – Goiás – Brazil

Abstract: The two main critiques of the labour theory of value - the critique of contradiction and the critique of redundancy - are presented along with the history of the debate on the transformation problem of values into production prices. The paper argues that the overall shift from the critique of contradiction to the critique of redundancy in the 20th century expresses the progress of Marxist economics and its expansion within official economic science. It proposes that the dilemma of Marx versus Sraffa should be understood as a scholastic question, created by reactionary forces within economic science. Because the critique of redundancy is weaker than the critique of contradiction, two tasks emerge for Marxist scholars: 1) reveal how the reactionary political use of Sraffa's theory avoid the expansion of Marxism within economics; 2) explain how Marx and Sraffa can be put on the same side of the struggle.

Keywords: value theory; transformation problem; Marx; Sraffa; political economy; labour theory of value; contradiction; redundancy; production prices; Marxist economics; Marxism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPEE.2013.058261

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 2013 Vol.4 No.3, pp.263 - 273

Published online: 30 Apr 2014 *

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