chapter  6
19 Pages

Catallactic Marxism

Marx, Hayek, and the market
ByTheodore Burczak

The concept of catallaxy reflects the existence of multiple organizations and individuals engaged in exchange to achieve their various ends. Stephen A. Resnick and Richard D. Wolff take a major step toward the development of a catallactic Marxism by rejecting the teleology of historical materialism. It is hard to reconcile the idea of catallactic friendship with systematic and ongoing exploitation. Friedrich Hayek's polemical declaration of the incompatibility between catallaxy and solidarity will lead some Marxists to reject out of hand the idea of a thoroughgoing catallactic Marxism. Firms with higher capital intensity might be able to produce at lower unit cost than average, thereby capturing super-profits via the mechanisms of market exchange, at the expense of firms with lower capital intensity. The free association of equals might be better facilitated by exchange among self-employment firms—thus wedding Marx and Hayek—than through central planning, although Marxists are more apt to see the need to regulate the competitive behavior of unproductive financial institutions.