- 季刊経済理論 (ISSN:18825184)
- vol.48, no.2, pp.6-16, 2011-07-20 (Released:2017-04-25)
1) Theory of alienation and concept of subject The purpose of this paper is to discuss on how Wataru Hiromatsu's theory of reification contributes development of economics. He conceptualized transition from the early to the late Marx as 'from the theory of alienation to the theory of reification'. This transition isn't just in wording but the change in paradigm. The alienation theory presupposes the subject-object schema, because alienation originally meant the process in which human essence spilled out into object (objectification), and the object turning against the subject as a hostile and alien force (alienation). The whole alienation theory had to be abandoned once the subject-object schema was abandoned, and got relationalist worldview in which the relation is given ontological priority. According to Hiromatsu, Marx's Labor Theory of Value does not presuppose subject/object schema, but reification theory. Traditional Marxian economists insist that each commodity have inherent value because worker (subject) embodied or materialized his abstract labor, substance of value, to commodity (object). But substance of value is not prior to exchange relations, but reification of relationship between persons and things. Value is not just relations (or idea) but reificated relations. Commodity producers treat as if value is something substantial inherent to individual commodity. It is not just illusion, but social fact (Emile Durkheim) with sozialen Macht (Marx). We need to sublate (aufheben) both the 'society substantialism'-'individual substantialism'. 2) The game theoretic approach to Marxian theory of alienation Tadasu Matsuo attempts to reconstruct Marx's theoretical system as the alienation theory, which, in turn, interpreted in terms of game theory, neoclassical framework. Game theory provides a model for social institutions and cooperation between individuals. It assumes that people are rational actors. But we don't think this theoretical framework does explain social norm as it really is. Social norm is not something rationally selected. Rational actors are not real agent but theoretical fictions. Matsuo stand on the side of 'individual substantialism', we mentioned above. 3) Criminal liability and rational agent Criminal law refers a theoretical person in the society who shows average judgment, because only rational person can be liable. If he or she does not intend to do it, he or she is not guilty. Crime is not just a bodily movement but must be voluntary act droved by inherent motivation, criminal intent. But this kind of view is very modern, not historically universal. The reason why criminal law require fictional agent is very similar to economics. One of the basic facts of modern psychology is that ultimate driving force behind human behavior is not free will but involuntary unconsciousness. 4) Economics and evaluational agent Assumption of homoeconomicus received a lot of criticism, because of its unreality. Actually, it is not empirical notion but axiom of neoclassical microeconomics. Economics is not only empirical science but also normative science, making economic policy. So you need theoretical benchmark to judge its adequacy. Subject in the theory of alienation is equivalent of homoeconomics in neoclassical microeconomics. Both theory adopt methodological individualism, so benchmark must be individual, rational agent. 5) Unalienated society? Matsuo considers unalienated society, depending each other with mutual consent, is desirable. But it is not feasible and desirable. We should rather accept minimum level reification.