The failure of mainstream economics to consider the importance of the material form of commodities, as well as their prices, and its inability to account for capitalism as a dynamic system were the key arguments in Henryk Grossman’s pioneering study of 1941. These criticisms still apply, to both the most important justification for austerity policies, the neoclassical economics taught in university economics departments, and also to the approaches of many Marxist economists who accept the mainstream assumption of equilibrium, that excludes time from fundamental features of its models. This is a new and superior translation, with improved references and explanatory footnotes.
The introduction, by Rick Kuhn, provides the context in which Grossman wrote. It highlights the innovative aspects of Grossman’s recovery of both the importance of Marx’s discussion of commodities as use values for the understanding of all economic processes and the contrast between Marx’s dynamic conception of these processes and static, equilibrium methodology in its mainstream and Marxist forms.