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Public Law and Legal Theory

General Law

1995

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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 ...