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Financialisation, the Value of Labour Power, the Degree of Separation, and Exploitation by Banking

  • Department Of Economics
  • Political Science


BenFine_FinancialisationLabourPower Financialisation, the Value of Labour Power, the Degree of Separation, and Exploitation by Banking Ben Fine, SOAS Research Students, Summer Seminar Series, April 30th, 2009 Introduction The emergence to some prominence of radical political economy from the mid-1960s for a decade or more witnessed significant debate over Marx’s value theory across committed Marxist economists, more sceptical but sympathetic heterodox economists, and also orthodox economists who tended to be dismissive if occasionally offering some admiration from the perspective of their own concerns (Marx as general equilibrium, growth or duality theorist). As a result, debate involved the nature and validity of value theory and its position within Marx’s and Marxist political economy as a whole. Over the past two decades, contributions from non- Marxists to value theory have fallen away considerably. This reflects both bad news and good news. The bad news is, of course, that the influence and presence of Marxist political economy has been in decline. The good news is that current debate itself is richer for having moved beyond, if not universally, whether Marx’s value theory is valid and to address how it is to be interpreted by those who have both knowledge of its finer points and wish to apply them to theoretical and empirical questions. I have been extensively engaged in these debates. For the earlier period, this involvement reached its peak over the period between the publishing of Fine and Harris (1979) and Fine (ed) (1986). After this, I was more inclined not to engage any further in debate as my position on the issues concerned had been aired more than enough times, and I felt that I had nothing new to say. And a new generation of scholars sympathetic to my approach had the opportunity to take it forward.1 This is not to deny the need to renew exposition for those encountering value theory for the first time, but this was accoun

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