Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Value from Nowhere: a response to Dumenil and Levy (first submission)

Freeman, Alan (1999): Value from Nowhere: a response to Dumenil and Levy (first submission).


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This article was submitted in 1999 to the Review of Radical Political Economy but was rejected. It responds to Gérard Duménil and Dominique Lévy’s (1999) “The conservation of value: a rejoinder to Alan Freeman”. This was a critique of the Temporal Single-System (TSS) interpretation of Marx’s value theory presented in my (1996) Marx and non-Equilibrium Economics.

In this response, I show that the paradoxes which Duménil and Lévy found in the TSS approach arose from a dogmatic adherence to the simultaneist paradigm which imposes, a priori and without reference to real phenomena, a distinct ontology from which change is absent. I show that when the supposition of a static economy is dropped, simultaneism creates value out of nowhere, and cannot thus support the elementary economic distinction between production and circulation. A uniform treatment of fixed capital, and the formation of social values, eliminates the alleged paradoxes. I show their own approach to be incoherent, generating negative values from its own assumptions. This is the first of two responses to this article which were rejected by the RRPE board. I have placed the second response in the public domain at the same time as this response.

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