PLSC 118 - Lecture 12 - The Marxian Failure and Legacy

Lecture 12 - The Marxian Failure and Legacy

Overview

We previously established that the reality of scarcity invalidates Marx's core idea of superabundance, and mortally wounds his theory. Certainly, his historical predictions about worker-led socialist revolutions around the world were off-mark. Today, Professor Shapiro presents more of the shortcomings of the Marxian tradition. These include Marx's failure to account for the ability of the state to buttress capitalism and stave off the conditions needed for its self-destruction, the lack of a declining tendency in the economy-wide rate of profit, and the incoherence of a labor theory of value. It becomes clear that the Marxian theory is riddled with holes. However, Marx does leave two important legacies in his wake: a good critique of markets as distributors of either good or harms in society, and a power-based argument about freedom.

Resources

Assignment

Tucker, The Marx-Engels Reader, Capital, Vol. I, pp. 443-65
Roemer, "Should Marxists be interested in exploitation?"
Shapiro, Moral Foundations of Politics, chapter 4 [optional]

Course Media

Transcript

html

Audio

mp3

Low Bandwidth Video

mov [100MB]

High Bandwidth Video

mov [500MB]