Neoclassical Economics and its Critics:
A Marxist View
THIS article discusses the system of thought known as neoclassical economics, the criticisms made of this system by the neo-Ricardian school, and finally, the relationship of neo-Ricardianism to Marxism/ The treatment of neoclassical and neo-Ricardian economics has been kept deliberately general, in order to keep the argument clear and avoid confusion. Only the section dealing with Marx provides detailed references and quotations, as it seemed necessary to give evidence for what might seem an unconventional interpretation of his writing.
Academic economics in the capitalist world is in a state of confusion as the dominant system of thought—neoclassical economics—comes under attack. Despite the elaborate mathematical reformulations it has undergone in recent years, this kind of economics differs very little in its fundamentals from what Marx, a century or more ago, contemptuously described as 'vulgar economy3—the systematisation of what is immediately visible in the sphere of market relations; individual preferences, prices and exchange. Throughout this paper, therefore, the terms c vulgar economy3 and ^neoclassical economics5 will be used interchangeably.