First published in 1990, this unique explanation of the rise of neoclassical economics views social change as an engine promoting change in theory. It attempts to develop a theory of the origins, consolidation and rise to dominance of the neoclassical school of thought. In so doing, it addresses the contest between the labour and utility theories of value; both are placed in historical context, and reasons are offered for the relative success of each in particular historical periods. It is argued that the eventual dominance of neoclassicism, a theory based on the social changes then taking place, resulted not from its scientific superiority but from its non-social perspective which ignores the social order upon which it depends.
Table of Contents
1. On the Origin and Dissemination of Ideas 2. Capitalism, Science and Fraud 3. The Theory of Value from the Heroic Age to the Industrial Revolution 4. The Interregnum: From Smith to Ricardo 5. The Dissolution of the Labor Theory of Value and the Rise to Dominance of Utility 6. The Consolidation of 1870-1900 and the Rise of Monopoly Capital