Index to Reality Political Economy Pages




Our aim in these pages is to give a defense of classical Marxian political economy. In particular we defend the Marxian ideas of the superiority of the planned over the free market economy. Secondarily we are concerned to show that the Labour Theory of value is scientifically valid, against various detractors.





Planned Economy


Computers and Economic Democracy – talk at the international seminar‘ New Historical Project’ Quito , 2003, power-point version.  Translated as LAS COMPUTADORAS Y LA DEMOCRACIA ECONOMICA,


In defense of socialist planning, by Ernest Mandel 


 Sozialismus ist machbar, Herr Nachbar! Helmut Dunkhase.

 On Ljungrens Plan and Market, also in Swedish as: För ett genomskinligt produktionssätt - W Paul Cockshott & Allain Cottrell röda rummet 3-02 PDF Swedish version

Communism: the abolition of private property, (Communist Formation 1977) an analysis of property relations with a view to seeing what it is that communism abolishes. (pdf version available)


.pdf version ( this will print properly on a postscript printer)

Translators introduction  With this work the Group of International Communists have put forward for debate, for the first time in the post-war history of the working class movement, the practical possibility of ordering social production and distribution on the basis of a use-value economy. They have brought together all the experience accumulated as a result of earlier attempts, by theoretical representatives of the working class of a previous era, to solve this most ultimate and conclusive of all areas of the revolutionary theory of the proletariat, in order that the root causes which in the final outcome render all those earlier efforts scientifically untenable may be laid bare and so prevented from generating further confusion.

Economic planning, computers and labor values Since the collapse of the Soviet Union it has seemed to many that the socialist calculation debate is essentially over, with a decisive verdict in favor of the market. Recent instabilities in the world market are again prompting the question whether some form of conscious regulation of economies may be appropriate. We argue that the increasing power of modern computer technology along with the use of Ricardian-Marxian labor values opens up new possibilities for economic planning. In particular we criticise the notion put forward by Samuelson that 'bourgeois prices' are the appropriate measure for socialist economic calculation.

PDF version

A critique of HayekHayek is a prominent right wing economist, a significant part of whose out has been devoted to attacking the very idea of socialism from an economic standpoint. This article isa detailed refutation to his claims that as an information processing system capitalism is superior to socialism.

Against MisesVon Mises was the first prominent economist to argue the impossibility of a socialist economy. His ideas continue to be recycled by opponents of socialism.

un modèle de planification efficace Bien sur, il y a des Marxistes qui ont rejete l’idee de planification, en favo-risant le " socialisme du marche ". Dans ce contexte-ci, nous ne pouvons que déclarer notre opposition à ce tour. Les mécanismes du marché — même qu’ils soient dirigés par un gouvernement dit socialiste — ne peuvent fournir ni l’égalité, ni la direction consciente de l’ensemble de production sociale, telles que le Marxisme classique les a envisagé.

Socialist Planning After the Collapse :  Analysis of what went wrong with central planning in the USSR .

 Value Markets and socialismThis paper which originally appeared in Science and Society outlines how the labour theory of value can be applied to planning a socialist economy.


Value Theory



Defining productive sectors , Dave Zachariah

The paper briefly discusses the concept of productive labor in the economy. From the standpoint of materialist social theory it attempts to formulate a simpler and more coherent definition than has been previously suggested.

Hunting productive work, Dave Zachariah and Paul Cockshott,
Provides an extended defence of the definition of productive labour given in the article above.


newTesting the labor theory of value in Sweden, Dave Zacharaih
This study aims to investigate the empirical strength of the labor theory of value. Using
input-output data and labor hour statistics for Sweden it replicates tests done by Cockshott and
Cottrell (1998) for the British economy. Its results are broadly consistent: labor values are closely
correlated with market prices. When it comes to reality, the labor theory of value works at least as
well as the theory of production prices.

Hilbert space models commodity exchange, Paul Cockshott
A relatively technical article arguing that there are strong underlying similarities between the mathematical properties of the value form and of the maths underlying quantum physics.



The organic composition of capital and profit rates,  Allin Cottrell and Paul Cockshott
 Shows that industries with high organic composition have low profit rates. This contrary to what one would expect from Neo-Ricardian and orthodox Marxian theory, but in conformity with volume I of Marx’s Capital.

Scientific Status of the Labour theory of Value:this paper argues that the labour theory of value is a scientific theory in the strongest sense of the empirical sciences. It shows that the criteria of science are in practice met by the labour theory of value.


Values law and values metric Examines what is meant by the law of value.

Testing Marx with Input Output Tables. An analysis of the UK economy over the last 100 years bearing out the validity of the labour theory of value and other marxian economic theories. This is in pdf format.


Economarx This list maintains a very useful set of links to key works recently published in marxian economics.


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File translated from TEX by TTH, version 1.30.