We've been getting alot of questions regarding marxist schools of thought.

If these questions were regarding the mathematics and empirics that exists in some neomarxian models such as the Feldman Mahalanobis Model I would have no issue. But we're ending up with vague unapplicable questions on the site which is seemingly just noise in this SE site's feed.

I'm interested in regulating these types of questions or look into possibly removing all basic marxian theory questions from the site.

I'd want to get some feedback from the community on this one. Good, Bad or Just a Terrible Idea?

Edit Questions I'm referring to:
Marx: Relative and equivalent-form. Difference?
Do contemporary Marxist economists still deny the utility/value theory which underpins classical economics?
What did Karl Marx mean by "the movement of this antithesis"?
Distance transported used to price goods in Marxism

Question I'm ok with:
Quantitative Marxian/Marxist micro and macro economic models?

Everything else im pretty much neutral on.

  • $\begingroup$ Are questions on economic theory off topic? I couldn't find that anywhere in the help center. $\endgroup$
    – Jeff
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 10:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Jeff Come on. Most questions on Marxism/Communism on this site is more regarding definitions specific to the political ideology. $\endgroup$
    – EconJohn Mod
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ After your edit to include examples, I feel like my previous question is still relevant. I quickly searched for "Hayek", "Mises", "Keynes" and "Adam Smith", easily finding other questions similar to these. Why single out Marx? Our entire field did, after all, start out as a philosophy. It seems natural and acceptable that there's some blurring of the lines. $\endgroup$
    – Jeff
    Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Jeff You have a good point. Make it an answer. $\endgroup$
    – EconJohn Mod
    Commented Dec 26, 2017 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


If it's asking about maybe an empirical model or testable hypothesis, I definitely don't have a problem with it. The normal site rules about asking answerable questions that aren't vague should apply. Questions about why some aspect of Marxist theory doesn't mesh with traditional economic theory (which inevitably leads to opinionated answers) are not particularly productive. Not sure if a blanket ban on them is a solution. Optimally, I'd like to be a slave to the idiosyncrasies of a question and judge it from there.

Some linked examples of questions you might find off topic may help others form a more concrete opinion on what is good/bad about these kind of questions.

Edit: Sorry for the late edit. For the example of questions you do not like up there, number 3 is a very sloppily written question (or rather, many many questions) and I have the most problems with it, along with number 1. If there was a question just asking about what the elasticity of demand is, I'd probably close a question like that since it's just asking about a definition. I'd probably feel the same here, though these questions are so old and my response so late that I might leave them be.

Number 2 is more tolerable to me. I do not think I'd bother closing it, and that the question is fine after its edits. Number 4 has a good answer but the question is awful. It boils down to an even worse question about definitions, except the person does not exactly know what they are looking for.

  • $\begingroup$ Edited my question. Thanks for the answer $\endgroup$
    – EconJohn Mod
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 17:26

Marxism is both a positive movement and a transdisciplinary theory. In terms of the latter two cogent disciplinary interfaces between Marxism and this stackexchange exist: Marxist economics and Marxist political economy. The former should be readily comprehensible to any economist trained in mathematical models. The later tends towards textual analyses (tends) like most other political economies.

To the extent that political economy is on topic 1, 2 and 4 are on topic as they request exegesis of Marxist categories that have a deeply political economic bent.

  • Good, formalised model : “as lp declines to zero what happens to the rate of profit in a continuing expanded reproduction schema?”

  • Good, political economic : “How do Marx’s forces of production dictate the relations of production?” (Note the question is textually restricted to the model, not to a claim about reality)

  • Migrate, out of disciplinary scope : “Was Marx’s anecdote about importing the mode of production to Western Australia correct?”


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