Episode 17: The Value-Form Paradigm vs. Marx’s “Capital,” Part 1

Some years ago, Andrew participated in a published symposium on the “value-form paradigm”—a Marx-inspired and market-focused strand of political economy. Andrew and others criticized the value-form paradigm, and the noted value-form theorist Patrick Murray responded to them.

In this episode (and a future one), Andrew replies to Murray’s paper—for the first time anywhere. He and Brendan discuss differences between Marx and value-form theory regarding how commodities’ values are determined and whether capitalism is essentially a monetary system. They also engage in a broader dialogue on the general features of the value-form paradigm and its political implications; some of that discussion focuses on how Marx’s critique of Proudhonism is relevant to the value-form paradigm.

The segment includes references to Marx’s Capital—chapter 1, chapter 2, and chapter 7 of volume 1, and chapter 1 of volume 2—and to Paul A. Samuelson’s famous paper, “Understanding the Marxian Notion of Exploitation.”

The current-events segment focuses again on the COVID-19 pandemic––especially Lysol Don’s latest epidemiological wisdom and Nazis storming Michigan’s Capitol building. Are there really “good people on both sides” of this lunacy?

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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May 8, 2020


  1. HAP, the problem is that others can (and do) say, with the same ease and same self-confident assertiveness you exhibit, “This discussion is useless — exchange actualizes value period.” But that claim and your claim can’t both be right, and it can’t be that one is “true for them” while the other is “true for you.”

    So discussion is indeed needed–to help separate the wheat from the chaff, i.e., to help get to the actual truth of the matter.

    Either that, or we abandon the goal of getting to the truth, which means abandoning science and reason, and turning Marxism into something like religious dogma.

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