Marx's 'Capital' (4th edition)

Marx's 'Capital' (4th edition)

Ben Fine, Alfredo Saad-Filho

Language: English

Pages: 217

ISBN: 0745336035

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This brilliantly concise book is a classic introduction to Marx’s key work, Capital. In print now for over a quarter of a century, and previously translated into many languages, the new edition has been fully revised and updated, making it an ideal modern introduction to one of the most important texts in political economy.The authors cover all central aspects of Marx’s economics. They explain the structure of Marx’s analysis and the meaning of the key categories in Capital, showing the internal coherence of Marx’s approach. Marx’s method and terminology are explored in detail, with supporting examples. Short chapters enable the meaning and significance of Marx’s main concepts to be grasped rapidly, making it a practical text for all students of social science. Discussing Capital’s relevance today, the authors consider Marx’s impact on economics, philosophy, history, politics and other social sciences. Keeping abstract theorising to a minimum, this readable introduction highlights the continuing relevance of Marx’s ideas in the light of the problems of contemporary capitalism.

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anticipating favourable returns when none is forthcoming and, when fresh credit is used to pay for maturing obligations, the overexpansion of accumulation could create conditions of economic crisis. Finally, uncertainty becomes even greater when trading in money itself takes place, creating a class of money dealers only loosely connected to production and trade. Trading in money and money-related instruments is likely to lead to destabilising speculation and fraud, creating further uncertainty

to be at the forefront now (although it is available if required) because labour is deeply tied to capital and appears as if it always has been and always will be. This extremely brief account explains the origins of the capitalist relations of production. By the seventeenth Accumulation of Capital 77 Fine 01 chap1 15/10/03 18:47 Page 78 century the first enclosure movement (another was to follow in the eighteenth century) had been completed, creating a landless labouring class as well as

disproportions – overproduction in one sector, underproduction in another – are just as likely to occur within the consumption and investment goods sectors as between the two as aggregates. In all this, it is possible to confuse a crisis of disproportionality in which consumption goods are in excess supply with a crisis of underconsumption. The latter will be characterised by a general overproduction of commodities and the simultaneous development of excess industrial capacity, which must be

solution to this problem in material conditions. Human consciousness is critical in Marx’s thought, but it can only be understood in relation to historical, social and material circumstances. In this way, Marx establishes a close relationship between dialectics and history, which would become a cornerstone of his own method. Consciousness is primarily determined History and Method 3 Fine 01 chap1 15/10/03 18:47 Page 4 by material conditions but these themselves evolve dialectically

chapter 9). Marx’s recognition that historical analysis belongs within the method of study (history and logic are inseparable) is not a concession to empiricism; it merely acknowledges the fact that a shifting reality cannot be reduced to, let alone determined by, a system of concepts. Fourth, materialist dialectics identifies the key concepts, structures, relationships and levels of analysis required for the explanation of the concrete, or more complex and specific outcomes. In Capital, Marx

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