Schumpeter om Marx

I sin fascinerande bok Ten Great Economists: From Marx to Keynes analyserar Joseph Schumpeter bland annat, inte utan ett stort mått av beundran, Karl Marx läror. Jag fann t.ex. detta avsnitt, i vilket Schumpeter granskar en av de stora svagheterna i den marxistiska ekonomiska teorin, dess värdeteori, upplysande:

Karl_Marx_grav

To begin with, it does not work at all outside of the case of perfect competition. Second, even with perfect competition it never works smoothly except if labor is the only factor of production and, moreover, if labor is all of one kind. If either of these two conditions is not fulfilled, additional assumptions must be introduced and analytical difficulties increase to an extent that soon becomes unmanageable. Reasoning on the lines of the labor theory of value is hence reasoning on a very special case without practical importance, though something might be said for it if it be interpreted in the sense of a rough approximation to the historical tendencies of relative values. The theory which replaced it—in its earliest and now outmoded form, known as the theory of marginal utility—may claim superiority on many counts but the real argument for it is that it is much more general and applies equally well, on the one hand, to the cases of monopoly and imperfect competition and, on the other hand, to the presence of other factors and of labor of many different kinds and qualities. Moreover, if we introduce into this theory the restrictive assumptions mentioned, proportionality between value and quantity of labor applied follows from it. It should be clear, therefore, not only that it was perfectly absurd for Marxists to question, as at first they tried to do, the validity of the marginal utility theory of value (which was what confronted them), but also that it is incorrect to call the labor theory of value ”wrong.” In any case it is dead and buried.

Frågan är om denna teori är död och begraven. Studenter i Lund kräver att nationalekonomisk undervisning, mot bakgrund av krisen, ska börja innefatta marxistisk ekonomi. Kravet får mig att tänka på kreationisters krav på utrymme i biologiundervisningen. Jag tror i vilket fall inte att Keynes hade gillat idén. Däremot hör de marxistiska texterna hemma i ämnet ekonomisk doktrinhistoria, som för övrigt borde beredas större utrymme i svensk ekonomutbildning.