Home > Teoria > The Autonomisation of Abstract Wealth: New Insights on the Labour Theory of Value

The Autonomisation of Abstract Wealth: New Insights on the Labour Theory of Value

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My paper “The Autonomisation of Abstract Wealth: New Insights on the Labour Theory of Value”, co-authored with Rodrigo Teixeira, was published in the Cambridge Journal of Economics. Here you can find the abstract and the link to the paper.

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The Autonomisation of Abstract Wealth: New Insights on the Labour Theory of Value

We theorise the forms of value in the Marxist system in a way that challenges the dominant tradition. The standard procedure has been to read Marx’s Capital as an analysis that begins at a high level of abstraction and moves towards more concrete concepts. Our alternative approach posits that the forms of value in the Marxist system evolve from more concrete towards more abstract forms of wealth that increasingly separate from and obscure labour exploitation. Our procedure therefore replaces the dominant interpretation of ‘successive approximations’ employed by most scholars. We develop a broader account of Marx’s project alongside textual evidence retrieved from many of his writings. We also provide a new way to incorporate the monetary, financial and rentier forms of wealth into Marx’s labour value theory. The proposed alternative approach can potentially open a research agenda on the contemporaneous dynamics of abstract and concrete forms of wealth in advanced capitalism.

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Key words: Marx, Capital, Abstract wealth, Autonomization, Labor theory of value
JEL classifications: B51, B14, B24

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Rotta, T. and Teixeira, R. (2016) The Autonomisation of Abstract Wealth: New Insights on the Labour Theory of Value. Cambridge Journal of Economics 40(4), pp.1185-1201.  [Abstract] and [PDF]

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