Episode 20: Cockshott versus Marx––Interview with “RV”


Scottish computer scientist Paul Cockshott and his devotees have frequently portrayed Marx as a proponent of their own “labor theory of value.” But a recent essay by “RV,” a young Belgian activist and theorist, has exposed sharp differences between Cockshott’s theory and Marx’s actual theory. In this interview, RV explains to the co-hosts what the differences are, why they are important, and what impelled him to push back against the efforts to “force Marx, at all costs, to hold” Cockshott’s theory. They also discuss RV’s suggestion that we should let these two different theories contend, to “see which one better stands the test of reality,” how Cockshott is likely to respond to this suggestion, and why RV rejects the “empirical evidence” that supposedly supports Cockshott’s theory.

In the current-events segment, the co-hosts discuss the calls to “defund the police” and proposals to reform policing in the US. Can policing indeed be reformed? If so, what reforms are possible?

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

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2 Responses to Episode 20: Cockshott versus Marx––Interview with “RV”

  1. Borzooieh says:

    The main point of Cockshott Is about” denial of formation of average rate of profit “
    Unfortunately this is not addressed in this discussion
    The attempts to prove equalization of rate of profit must be examined

    • Thanks for listening and commenting. Although that may be a major part of Cockshott’s work it was not the focus of this discussion. For one, we can’t cover everything in one podcast (I already had to edit a two our discussion down to a 45 minute segment.) But more importantly, the interpretive issues at stake, whether Cockshott should be allowed to substitute his own theories for Marx’s, need to be dealt prior to an investigation as to whether these theories have empirical validity. We have to be clear on what the theory is we are attempting to verify.

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