Ernest Mandel's Marxian Theory

Simon Mouatt

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    If we want to understand Marx, we simply have to read what he said. Marx has been subject to widespread politicisation and misinterpretation since his death and, as a consequence, many commentaries and reviews are suspect. Notwithstanding interpretative error, commentaries are a helpful means of gaining an initial understanding of the complexities inherent in the Marxian analyses of the capitalist mode of production. The work of Ernest Mandel is a good example of such work and his academic status is substantiated by his commission to write the introduction to all three volumes of capital, published by Penguin in the seventies. However, the purpose of this brief note is to illustrate that his description of the unit of (objective) measurement, utilised by Marx?s theory of value (LTV), appears inconsistent with Marx?s own work or, at best, is poorly explained. Since Marx?s entire political economy is predicated on the LTV it is perhaps imperative to clarify the matter for posterity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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