An excellent addition to Routledge’s strong tradition of publishing exceptional books in heterodox economics, this innovative and groundbreaking volume draws on the work of Schumpeter, Marx and Sraffa, three of the most influential economists of all time. It bases value on a single, inwardly felt scarcity, the scarcity of life, which consumers scramble to experience more of through private possession of the product of socially contributed human time-space, in the form of knowledge embodied in commodities. This coercive urge, which appears outwardly as ‘commodity fetishism’, sets the context of ‘utility’ and self-interest, implicating consumers in the plunder of each other’s toil and of the earth, showing that capitalistic growth surveys existential distress rather than welfare.
Existential motivational uniformity joins the seemingly disparate individualistic pursuits into a race for growth, while markets promote variety and innovation. Markets assist consumption innovations to blend with Schumpeterian production innovations as consumers try to foresee market conditions and structure their expenditures towards gaining positional advantage. These explain the structural dynamics of increased roundaboutness through adjustment of prices and demand to an evolving techno-structure.
A valuable resource, this book unfolds a new vision of economic theorizing through the extreme basics of agent behaviour.