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The Labor Theory of Value: A Critique of Carson's Studies in Mutualist Political Economy

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

Tags Monetary TheoryValue and Exchange

07/30/2014Robert P. Murphy

Kevin Carson's studies in Mutualist Political Economy (2004) is an impressive work. It first attempts to rehabilitate the classical labor theory of value (by giving it a subjectivist spin), and then traces the history of capitalism to show that it was founded by, and necessarily relies upon, State aggression. Carson finally ends by sketching his vision of a just world based on the principles of “mutualism,” in which labor retains its product and every actor internalizes the full costs of his or her decisions.

This article argues that his rebuttals to Böhm Bawerk’s famous critique of the labor theory of value, as well as Carson’s attempted rehabilitation of the theory along subjectivist lines, utterly fail.

Volume 20, Number 1 (2006)

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Contact Robert P. Murphy

Robert P. Murphy is a Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute. He is the author of numerous books: Contra Krugman: Smashing the Errors of America's Most Famous Keynesian; Chaos Theory; Lessons for the Young Economist; Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action; The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism; Understanding Bitcoin (with Silas Barta), among others. He is also host of The Bob Murphy Show.

Cite This Article

Murphy, Robert P. "The Labor Theory of Value: A Critique of Carson's Studies in Mutualist Political Economy." Journal of Libertarian Studies 20, No. 1 (2006): 17–33.

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