Sraffa, Interdependence and Demand: The Gramscian Influence
Format of Original
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Review of Political Economy
The influence of Sraffa' early commitments to Gramscian Marxism on his subsequent economic analysis have been little investigated by Sraffa scholars. The discussion here argues for a philosophical connection. Specifically, it is argued that organicist ideas found their way into Sraffa's thinking about interdependence in his 1926 critique of Marshall, in his reported critique of Wittgenstein's early philosophy, and in his 1960 Production of commodities. In each instance, atomist views were challenged in an understanding of agent or sectoral interdependence that made use a single criterion for agent or sectoral autonomy: that such autonomy depends upon the fulfilment of identify conditions for the individuation of autonomous agents or sectors. It is suggested that Sraffa's thinking in this regard ses the attempted fulfilment of these conditions in neoclassical theory as self-contradictory, thus allowing the characterization of his thinking as a form of impossibility logic. This impossibility logic is contrasted to that of Arrow, in order to advance general propositions about Sraffa's understanding of demand.