Deciphering Capital: Marx’s Capital and its destiny

Deciphering Capital: Marx’s Capital and its destiny

Alex Callinicos

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 2:00248159

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

My scan, OCR'd

Marx's Capital is back where it belongs, at the centre of debate about Marxism and its purchase on the contemporary world. In recent years there has been an explosion of much wider interest in Capital, after the debate on Capital largely fell silent in the late-1970s. In Deciphering Capital, Alex Callinicos offers his own substantial contribution to the debate. He tackles the question of Marx's method, his relation to Hegel, value theory and labour. He engages with Marxist thinkers past and present, from Gramsci and Althusser to Harvey and Jameson.

"Marx's Capital is back!", Callinicos asserts in his Introduction. And Callinicos's excellent book is itself a significant contribution to the revival of Marxian political economy for 21st century struggles against capitalism, with important insights into Capital and the nature of revolutionary subjects in late capitalism - Fred Moseley, Professor of Economics, Mount Holyoke College. Author, Money and Totality: Marx's Logical Method and the End of the 'Transformation Problem' (forthcoming)

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Divergent Paths: Hegel in Marxism and Engelsism (The Hegelian Foundations of Marx's Method, Volume 1)














dispossession, since it is nothing more or less than the alienation, appropriation and dispossession of the labourer’s capacity to produce value in the labour process.17 1his is, in my view, a disastrous move. As Harvey acknowledges e1se­ where, Marx’s analysis in Capital, 1, systematically assumes that commodities exchange at their values.18 Marx was surrounded by radical thinkers (for example, Proudhon and his followers) who treated exploi­ tation as a consequence of capitalists' illegitimate

the problem of reproduction that will become one of the main subjects of Capital, II, and particularly the puzzle ofhow, in the circulation of com­ modities, the value of constant capital (invested in means ofproduction) is replaced. Marx rather airily acknowledges that he has skidded off­ plste: ‘끼le question of the reproduction of the constant capital clearly belongs to the section on the reproduction process or circulation process of capital-which however is no reason why the kernel of the

idea common to Ricardo and Malthus that population pressures prevent real wages from rising above a subsistence minimum; this critique was most fully developed in ‘Value, Price, and Profit’ (1865) ' In my view, Marx nevertheless remains in the framework forged in The Poverty of Philosophy of critical Ricardianism up to and beyond his resumption of his economic studies in London in the early 1850S. The London Notebooks contain excerpts from and comments on Ricardo’s Priηcψles, alongside (among

labour theory of value, by defìning the social product independently of the relations of distribution, allowed Ricardo to give theoretical expression to this class antagonism. Ricardo’s value theory and his theory of profìts were therefore imbri­ cated with each other. At the same time, however, the coexistence within his discourse of the labour theory of value and the assumption of Torrens’s ‘universally operating law of competition, which equalises the profìts of stock’, introduced an

pres­ entation of thε law of value there. But, for whatever reason (perhaps thε vestigial influence of the older capital in general/many capitals schζme), he doesn’t do this. But what is most signifì.cant here is that Marx refers here to the ‘cus­ tomary demand'. Contrary to the claim made both by critics and by some Marxists (for example, David Harvey), Marx does not simply ignore the role of supply and demand in his value theory. On the con­ trary, Capital, III, Chapter 10, involves his most

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