“Accumulation of Advantage and Elimination of Scarcity — A Critique of the Neoclassical Approach”, Annamaria Artner (IWE, Hungary)

Annamaria Artner, “Accumulation of Advantage and Elimination of Scarcity — A Critique of the Neoclassical Approach” in: International Critical Thought (2019), 9:4, pp. 524-544

Neoclassical economics has been built on the assumption of the limitless human needs and the limited natural resources. The essay aims at challenging this thesis by presenting how scarcity is the result of the surplus production. It introduces the notions of initial advantage, cumulative advantage and class surplus. It highlights that the way of producing surplus has undergone a basic change when capitalism has become the ruling mode of production: the production of surplus has become subordinated to the objective laws of the market competition instead of the subjective needs of the holders of advantage. This has allowed an enormous increase of the production of surplus expropriated by the propertied class, which is other than the working class. As a result, nowadays enough class surplus is produced to eliminate scarcity overall. The necessity of this elimination is emphasised by the fact that accumulation of advantages based on surplus production that coincides with the production of scarcity and accumulation of disadvantages perpetually rushes to crisis and has devastating impacts both on the society and the nature.

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