- The fallacies of Keynesian policies
- Rethinking Marxism
- Volume | Issue number
- 18 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
This article examines the effectiveness of Keynesian policies from the perspective of Marxian value theory. It starts from a sketch of the economic cycle, whose ultimate cause is identified in the decreasing production of (surplus) value following technological innovations, and argues that the strongest case for Keynesian civilian policies is not the redistribution of a (decreasing) mass of value. Rather, they should spur the production of more value through the state-induced mobilization of idle capital and/or Labor's savings. In this case, they can initially increase profitability and/or wages and/or employment, but they cannot create the conditions for an upturn and boom. Similar conclusions are reached concerning military Keynesian policies. The paper concludes by arguing that Labor should fight for state-induced, Capital-financed public works (and for reforms in general) not from the perspective of Keynesian policies (i.e., as if they were Labor-friendly, effective anticrisis devices), but from the perspective of thoroughly different social relations—that is, relations based on cooperation, equality, and solidarity.
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