Episode 85: Value, Price & Prattle: A Response to Lopes, Byron, and Historical Materialism

Brendan interviews Andrew about his new article, “Value, Price & Prattle,” which responds to a recent paper in Historical Materialism by Jesse Lopes and Chris Byron. Andrew reiterates his request that the journal and its publisher retract the paper, because it misrepresents things that Marx and Andrew wrote and contains other serious errors. The co-hosts discuss one such misrepresentation: Lopes and Byron claim that Marx never stated that labor-time is a measure, right after quoting a sentence in which he did state this! Much of the segment deals with Lopes and Byron’s argument that the apparent contradiction between Marx’s value theory and real-world prices and profits can’t be solved mathematically, because prices are observable and measurable but values are not. Brendan and Andrew also discuss Lopes and Byron’s failure to understand what is meant by a “single system” interpretation of Marx’s value theory, and their denial that Marx converted amounts of labor-time into amounts of money and vice-versa. Andrew argues that Marx’s claim that labor creates value depends crucially on this conversion.

 
Plus current-events segment: DeSantis sics anti-“CRT” attack dog Chris Rufo on progressive New College. During the segment, Brendan and Andrew refer to Kathryn Joyce’s exploration of Rufo’s ultimate aims and Michelle Goldberg’s piece on the New College battle.

 
Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

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January 20, 2023

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