Saturday, February 4, 2017

Marxian Political Economy Primer.


Given my subject matter, it may sound strange I start this way, but here goes.

Suppose you could ask two highly respected dead economists like Paul Samuelson and Joan Robinson what school of economic thought they belonged to.

It seems safe to assume both would have answered they are Keynesians, in spite of their public and long and heated disputes on many theoretical issues.

That situation, although particularly acute among Keynesians and Keynesianism, is hardly peculiar to them and it's probably due to many things (among them because often the same texts admit different readings). The bottom line being that schools of economic thought are hardly theoretical monoliths. This sometimes makes the preparation of primers and precis a problematic thing.

That, which holds true for Keynesians and Keynesianism, also holds true for Marxists and Marxism.

Having said that, the "Marxian Political Economy Primer" co-authored by Andreas Dimmelmeier, Andrea Pürckhauer, and Anil Shah -- under the tutelage of Dr. Johannes Jäger -- for Exploring Economics (a website dedicated to the pluralist teaching of economics) manages to provide a concise primer, couched in a slightly academic tone, but still accessible to the wider public while avoiding (mostly) contentious issues.

While I have somewhat different views regarding methodology and the philosophy of economics, I find it a valuable contribution to the diffusion of Marx's (and other Marxist writers') ideas.

Congratulations and thanks to the authors for their effort.

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