Presentation at the 3rd Marx World Congress organised by the School of Marxism, Peking University, Beijing 17-18 July 2021
I.I.Rubin’s Essays on Marx’s Theory of Value played a crucial role in the 1970s Value Debate between Marxist and neo-Ricardians as it gave inspiration and support to the Marxist argument about the social dimension of the political-economic analysis and also about the difference between Marx’s and Ricardo’s LTV. However, the subsequent self-proclaimed ‘Rubin school’ overemphasized the social dimension and neglected the technical dimension of value. This led to a theory of form without content by identifying immediately value with money and thus abandoning labour values and substituting them with monetary prices. This old ‘Rubin school’ betrayed both Marx and Rubin as the latter never ascribed to their fallacies. Nowadays, a new stream of ‘Rubinists’ (e.g. the proponents of a monetary theory of value) appear that again identify immediately labour values with money and thus also make labour values redundant. This paper argues that the new ‘Rubinists’ betray also both Marx and Rubin and, moreover, fail to understand the essential working of the capitalist economy.
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