Marxian Economics Ι
Marxian Political Economy is an alternative critical economic approach to current economic phenomena. Marxian Economics does not only examine how limited resources are allocated among competing uses or needs, but also how they are distributed among different social classes and individuals. The course examines the basic elements of Marxian theory as developed by Marx himself, as well as the by classic and modern Marxists. The course begins with the philosophical foundations of Marxian economic theory and its methodology. The individual, his/her preferences and resource allocation among individuals are conceptualized from the standpoint of historical materialism. We next discuss the labor theory of value, the theory of money, and price determination. We then examine the theory of capital and surplus value in order to explain the notion of profit and the accumulation of capital in capitalism. We also analyze the formation of the general rate of profit and prices of production on the basis of capitalist competition. The discussion of the reproduction of capital (simple and extended) and the associated conditions for the equilibrium of the capitalistic system follows. Furthermore, we analyze the distribution of surplus value and its role in providing conditions for the extraction and appropriation of surplus value. We then move on to a discussion of technological change and its impacts on productivity and unemployment. Finally, we examine the Marxist theories of capital accumulation and the declining rate of profit, making references to conditions which lead to economic crises. The discussion of all the above issues will provide comparisons between their Marxian analysis and the Neoclassical account. We will also refer to the common elements between the Marxian analysis and other critical approaches.