Cover: A General Theory of Exploitation and Class, from Harvard University PressCover: A General Theory of Exploitation and Class in E-DITION

A General Theory of Exploitation and Class

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674435865

Publication Date: 06/02/1982

298 pages

9 line illustrations


Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

A landmark in the development of economic theory… [This book] takes a long, hard look at some classical concepts in Marxism and, in doing so, transforms them completely… [Roemer] uses the analytical tools of neo-classical economics to undermine its normative and sociological assumptions. Instead of firms and households, Roemer offers us classes; instead of the ‘social welfare function’ he proposes exploitation as the criterion of justice. His book, in my opinion, is a step towards realism without loss of vigour.—Jon Elster, London Review of Books

There is no doubt that Roemer has produced an excellent book. His central question is whether classical Marxism has prepared us to expect what we see in existing socialist countries. Roemer believes not, and ’the consequence is a theoretical disarray of modern Marxism in attempting to explain the laws of motion of socialism.’ The book is divided into three parts that deal respectively with exploitation and class in subsistence economies, accumulating economies, and socialist economies. Building on elegant and beautifully precise models of exploitation and class, the author integrates notions of class and status, socialist exploitation, and notions of justice to analyze the abstract workings of socialism… Highly recommended.Choice

Roemer’s is a major contribution to Marxian economic theory. It presents an analysis that is at once classical and modern, answering both old questions and new ones. It is delightfully controversial and deeply innovative.—Amartya Sen, Oxford University

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