[OPE-L] Lange's vindication

From: Alejandro Agafonow (alejandro_agafonow@YAHOO.ES)
Date: Sat Apr 21 2007 - 13:24:44 EDT

Dear Jerry:
On 04/19/2007 you said: Lange thought he was vindicating a subjective theory of value (it's been a while since I read his book),  but I don't see how it constitutes a vindication.
By vindication I mean to argue in favour of the truth, justice or validity of something that has been subject to discussion. Lange vindicates the subjective theory of value as a devise to explain the every day exchange in the market and to efficiently allocate resources under capitalism or socialism. It doesn’t mean that Lange hasn’t believed in the usefulness of Marxian theory. He thought the later is useful for another purposes.
Please, consider the following Lange’s quotation:
Clearly the relative merits of Marxian economics and of modern “bourgeois” economic theory belong to different “ranges”. Marxian economics can work the economic evolution of capitalist society into a consistent theory from which its necessity is deduced, while “bourgeois” economists get no further than mere historical description. On the other hand, “bourgeois” economics is able to grasp the phenomena of the every-day life of a capitalist economy in a manner that is far superior to anything the Marxists can produce […] In people want to anticipate the development of Capitalism over a long period a knowledge of Marx is a much more effective starting point than a knowledge of Wieser, Boehm-Bawerk, Pareto or even Marshall (though the last-named is in this respect much superior). But Marxian economics would be a poor basis for running a central bank or anticipating the effects of a change in the rate of discount. (pp. 191-192) Oskar Lange, “Marxian Economics and Modern Economic
 Theory”, The Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 2, Nº 3, (Jun., 1935).
Best regards,
Alejandro Agafonow

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