Towards a Political Economy of the Hunters and Gatherers - A Study in Historical Materialism
19 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2010
Date Written: September 22, 2009
This paper uses the mode of production of the hunter-gatherers as a background to explain basic economic concepts, in particular the meaning of the labour theory of value and it's relationship to optimization of resources. A proof of the marginal value theorem is presented. A new term is introduced to designate labour surplus value, roundabout labour. The analytical expression for socially necessary labour is derived and Adam Smith's paradox between labour value and the adding-up theorem of wages, rent and profit, is resolved. It is shown that far from being limited to the ancient form of society of the hunter-gatherers the labour theory of value holds also in modern times.
Keywords: historical materialism, labour theory of value, Marxian economics, roundabout labour, Adam Smith, surplus labour, hunter-gatherer society, marginal value theorem, evolutionary ecology, modes of production, productive forces
JEL Classification: B14, B51, D20, D46, Q57, Z10
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