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The Orthodox Nationalist: Boris Vysheslavtsev – TON 052219

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson talks about Boris Vysheslavtsev and his debunking of Marx’ ‘Labor theory of value’ which reduces man to a standardised economic unit.

Boris Vysheslavtsev (1877-1954) was an anti-communist exile philosopher. He did his doctorate on Fichte in Moscow in 1914 and taught at the University of Moscow until the reds kicked him out in 1922. He then became a professor at the Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris and worked with Nikolai Berdyaev.

Vysheslavtsev's lifelong concern was with the Absolute that underlies everything. It cannot be systematized. Because the Absolute underlies every rational construction, it is irrational. It is the source for reason and hence, can't be cognized by it. It cannot be exhausted by reason but is “revealed in intuition.”

This lecture will deal with his rejection of Marxism though his attack on Marx's "labor theory of value." Non-creative and impersonal work is "labor," for Marx. This labor is subordinate to an owner, it Is performing an alien task and serving another's benefit. Labor is a set of movements invented by the engineer who created the machine, and are organized by the owner who created the enterprise and controls it. If it were not for this machinery and technology of organization, then uniform and impersonal labor would not in itself produce anything. Therefore, the statement that only impersonal market labor produces and creates value, is economic nonsense and a demagogic lie.

Creativity isn't standardized labor. The value of labor invested in something isn't valued in the product itself, but the quality of the creativity embodied in it. Creativity is free, and therefore spiritual. Spirit, reason and freedom are the economy, value and all history.

Not only is the "labor theory of value" Marx's error, but Adam Smith's utilitarian and John Locke's error as well. This is the error of all modernity.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: Boris Vysheslavtsev – TON 052219


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