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A Theory Without A Movement, A Hope Without A Name: The Future Of Marxism In A Post-Marxist World, Justin Schwartz Jun 2013

A Theory Without A Movement, A Hope Without A Name: The Future Of Marxism In A Post-Marxist World, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Just as Marx's insights into capitalism have been most strikingly vindicated by the rise of neoliberalism and the near-collapse of the world economy, Marxism as social movement has become bereft of support. Is there any point in people who find Marx's analysis useful in clinging to the term "Marxism" - which Marx himself rejected -- at time when self-identified Marxist organizations and societies have collapsed or renounced the identification, and Marxism own working class constituency rejects the term? I set aside bad reasons to give on "Marxism," such as that the theory is purportedly refuted, that its adoption leads necessarily …


Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz Jan 2011

Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

This short nontechnical article reviews the Arrow Impossibility Theorem and its implications for rational democratic decisionmaking. In the 1950s, economist Kenneth J. Arrow proved that no method for producing a unique social choice involving at least three choices and three actors could satisfy four seemingly obvious constraints that are practically constitutive of democratic decisionmaking. Any such method must violate such a constraint and risks leading to disturbingly irrational results such and Condorcet cycling. I explain the theorem in plain, nonmathematical language, and discuss the history, range, and prospects of avoiding what seems like a fundamental theoretical challenge to the possibility …


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 What's …


From Libertarianism To Egalitarianism, Justin Schwartz Jan 1992

From Libertarianism To Egalitarianism, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

A standard natural rights argument for libertarianism is based on the labor theory of property: the idea that I own my self and my labor, and so if I "mix" my own labor with something previously unowned or to which I have a have a right, I come to own the thing with which I have mixed by labor. This initially intuitively attractive idea is at the basis of the theories of property and the role of government of John Locke and Robert Nozick. Locke saw and Nozick agreed that fairness to others requires a proviso: that I leave "enough …