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Trapped inside the Box? Five Questions for Ben Fine

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Responding to comments by Ben Fine in relation to the concept of the degree of separation among workers, this article argues that Fine (a) confuses Marx’s levels of analysis and thus cannot distinguish between necessity and contingency; (b) fails to grasp the problematic character of Marx’s discussion of relative surplus-value once we remove the assumption of a given standard of necessity; and (c) accordingly remains trapped (like so many others) in a ‘Ricardian Box’ that Marx himself was able to escape.

Affiliations: 1: Simon Fraser University, Email:


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