A Critique of A Marxist Critique Of Thorstein Veblen

Abstract

Over his career, Thorstein Veblen provided the economics profession with a magnificent economic theory which later proved superior to other economic theories. His principle theory concerns the microeconomic foundations of reserve productive capacity and mark-up pricing. He also examines macroeconomic theory dealing with inflation, unemployment, the business cycle, productivity and income distribution, and economic development. His entire economic theory is ultimately critical of imperialism, militarism, and patriotism, as well as the higher plane capitalism in its zenith of large corporations and financial magnates. Given all these contributions, Marxist economists such as Sweezy, Baran, Dowd, and Hunt have criticized Veblen’s work as being grounded in Say’s Law. They criticize Veblen for having no adequate theory of investment and employment, a weak theory of imperialism, an incomplete theory of the business cycle, a tendency to racism, weak materialism, and so on. This paper aims at providing a condensed review of Veblen’s economic theory within his evolutionary framework, and criticizes the Marxist critique of Veblen’s work. It is hoped that this paper will convince Veblen’s critics of the significant value of his work.

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Paul Sweezy, Paul Baran, Douglas Dowd, E. K. Hunt

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Mouhammed A. H., (2008) “A Critique of A Marxist Critique Of Thorstein Veblen”, American Review of Political Economy 6(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.38024/arpe.99

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Adil H. Mouhammed (University of Illinois at Springfield)

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