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Towards a Political Economy of the Hunters and Gatherers: A Study in Historical Materialism

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  • Hagendorf, Klaus

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hagendorf, Klaus, 2009. "Towards a Political Economy of the Hunters and Gatherers: A Study in Historical Materialism," MPRA Paper 17339, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Sep 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17339
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17339/1/MPRA_paper_17339.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Samuelson, Paul, 2012. "Understanding the Marxian Notion of Exploitation: A Summary of the So-CalledTransformation Problem Between Marxian Values and Competitive Prices," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, pages 182-202, August.
    2. Dobb,Maurice, 1975. "Theories of Value and Distribution since Adam Smith," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521099363, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    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:

    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory
    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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