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Sociology

1995

Politics

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What's Wrong With Exploitation?, Justin Schwartz Jan 1995

What's Wrong With Exploitation?, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Abstract: Marx thinks that capitalism is exploitative, and that is a major basis for his objections to it. But what's wrong with exploitation, as Marx sees it? (The paper is exegetical in character: my object is to understand what Marx believed,) The received view, held by Norman Geras, G.A. Cohen, and others, is that Marx thought that capitalism was unjust, because in the crudest sense, capitalists robbed labor of property that was rightfully the workers' because the workers and not the capitalists produced it. This view depends on a Labor Theory of Property (LTP), that property rights are ...


In Defence Of Exploitation, Justin Schwartz Jan 1995

In Defence Of Exploitation, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

The concept of exploitation is thought to be central to Marx's Critique of capitalism. John Roemer, an analytical (then-) Marxist economist now at Yale, attacked this idea in a series of papers and books in the 1970s-1990s, arguing that Marxists should be concerned with inequality rather than exploitation -- with distribution rather than production, precisely the opposite of what Marx urged in The Critique of the Gotha Progam.

This paper expounds and criticizes Roemer's objections and his alternative inequality based theory of exploitation, while accepting some of his criticisms. It may be viewed as a companion paper to my ...