Fundamental Economic Concepts and their Application to Social Phenomenal
Value-free analysis can be defined as an analytical statement which is logically true, while being devoid of implicit or explict assertion of what should be.2 Definition, however, does not imply existence,3 and value-free analysis is a null set. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the empty nature of the set by examination of certain basic economic concepts — output, employment, and capital. I shall show that these concepts cannot be defined either with cross-cultural generality, or with theoretical unambiguity. Having done this, I turn to an analysis of African underdevelopment, and demonstrate that the critique of concepts is of more than heuristic interest; by treating the concepts as if they had cross-cultural generality and theoretical unambiguity, analysis is distorted and biased. Further, the distortion and bias are not random, but towards a capitalist pattern of development (or underdevelopment).
KeywordsPrice Vector Economic Concept Oxford Economic Paper Capitalist Mode Economic Anthropology
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