Comments on ALB’s Review of Robin Hahnel’s Book “Radical Political Economy”

May 2024 Forums Comments Comments on ALB’s Review of Robin Hahnel’s Book “Radical Political Economy”

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    I trust this is the right place to comment on an article in the Standard.

    • Hahnel’s book on Sraffa versus Marx is uncompromisingly “hostile to Marx”.
    • Hahnel is a Sraffian  economist.  His theory of the capitalist economy is “hostile to Marx”.
    • Agreed, Sraffa never considered himself to be personally or scientifically “hostile to Marx”.  Recall Marx’s admonition “we don’t judge people by how they judge themselves”.
    • The phenomenological foundation of Sraffa’s economics is hostile to Marx’s abstract foundation and—as their foundations—so their theories.
    • Marx’s theory of capital — (1) the value of every commodity comprises constant, variable and surplus value and (2) surplus-value is the sole source of profit on capital — is gobbledygook when viewed from the phenomenological standpoint of Sraffian economics.  
    • Likewise Marx’s 1859 Preface has no place in Sraffianism.
    • Ultimately, despite himself, Sraffa is an enemy of Marx.
    • Likewise, Hanhel is no friend of Marx and, for us, of socialism.

    Of course Hahnel cannot, in all conscience, avoid confronting Andrew Kliman—the destroyer of Sraffian economics.

    Andrew Kliman’s devastating scientific review of Hahnel’s book is scientifically unanswerable — see: Andrew Kliman’s Review of Robin Hahnel


    The review did not say that Sraffa was a Marxist, but merely that he was not hostile to Marx in the way that the exponents of “Sraffian economics” are. Obviously, any theory that tries to explain how capitalism works without the concept of “value” and just on the basis of technology and prices can’t be described as Marxian. I don’t think there’s any record of Sraffa saying “All I know is that I am not a Sraffian” but there might be.

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