By Marc; Sensat, Julius Linder
Publication via Marc Linder, Julius Sensat
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Extra info for The Anti-Samuelson. Volume One - Macroeconomics: basic problems of the capitalist economy
In trying to find the rational kernel of the elaborate discus sion on these topics by bourgeois econom ics, we will center on the "trio of basic problems o f economic organization" (17) which plays a central role in S 's introductory material. 2 W hat is not so obvious is w hat sort of theory can be constructed on this basis. Marx, too, was aware of the "basic econom ic p rob lem s," but he approached them from a different theoretical van- CENTRAL IDEOLOGICAL PROBLEMS t r n r ia U Original from UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 25 tage point.
29), he seem s to be saying that causality runs in the oppo site direction, from a natural condition to a specific social structure. In another context S introduces the distinction betw een " n a tu r a l" and "c o n tr iv e d " scarcity (622-24). T h e latter, supposedly the result of m onopolistic behavior, would ap pear to be an exam ple of social scarcity. Yet here, too, the so-called natural scarcity— the limited am ount of G od-given fe rtile Io w a fa rm la n d — b e c o m e s th e d ire c t so u rc e o f capitalist land rent.
This line o f reasoning is not w ithout som e validity, although not w hat S ascribes to it. His ar gum ent is exceedingly simple: from the circum stance that "every econom y must som ehow solve the three fundam en tal econom ic p ro b lem s" (38) he ju m p s to the conclusion that society "d o e s . . choose to end u p " som ew here in line with the various technological possibilities open to it (22). " The term "c h o ic e " w ould appear in ap p ro p riate even for th ose p recap italist societies characterized by som e form of aggregate planning (how ever unscientific) in light of the static nature of those m odes of production.