chapter  1
65 Pages

Force of Law: The "Mystical Foundation of Authority"

This chapter proposes to apply Jacques Derrida's ideas to the price theory. In Derrida's terminology, microeconomics is the restricted economy, and the disrupted microeconomics the general one. This general economy is the one that shows how metaphysics's eternal attempt to profit from its ventures is based upon an irreducible loss, an 'expenditure without reserve' without which there could be no idea of profit. The chapter argues that modern American price theory, the type that describes a perfect market, is a philosophy of presence. It works by banishing time. Time is itself a market imperfection. Furthermore, price theory's perfect market must originate in market imperfections. The universal banishment of economic rents means that all prices must equate with the marginal cost of production. In order for competitive pricing to be achieved, microeconomists have a very specialized notion of marginal cost.