An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx's Capital by Michael Heinrich

By Michael Heinrich

Alex Locascio (trans.)

The international fiscal drawback and recession that all started in 2008 had no less than one unforeseen final result: a surge in revenues of Karl Marx's Capital. even though mainstream economists and commentators as soon as pushed aside Marx's paintings as outdated and incorrect, a few are begrudgingly acknowledging an research that sees capitalism as inherently volatile. and naturally, there are these, like Michael Heinrich, who've noticeable the price of Marx all alongside, and are in a different place to give an explanation for the intricacies of Marx's thought.
Heinrich's smooth interpretation of Capital is now on hand to English-speaking readers for the 1st time. It has passed through 9 variations in Germany, is the normal paintings for Marxist research teams, and is used generally in German universities. the writer systematically covers all 3 volumes of Capital and explains all of the uncomplicated points of Marx's critique of capitalism in a fashion that's transparent and concise. He offers heritage info at the highbrow and political milieu within which Marx labored, and appears at an important matters past the scope of Capital, akin to category fight, the connection among capital and the kingdom, accusations of old determinism, and Marx's figuring out of communism. Uniquely, Heinrich emphasizes the financial personality of Marx's paintings, as well as the conventional emphasis at the exertions idea of price, this highlighting the relevance of Capital to the age of economic explosions and implosions.

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A further question concerns the relationship between Marx’s depiction of the capitalist mode of production and bourgeois economic theory: Is Marx presenting merely just another theory of the mode of operation of capitalism? Does the “critique” in the critique of political economy consist solely of previously existing theories being proven wrong in certain places so that Marx may present a better theory? Or does “critique” make a more comprehensive claim? To formulate things more generally: What does “critique” mean within the framework of the critique of political economy?

As with the term “tree,” abstract labor is an abstraction, but a completely different kind of abstraction. Normally, abstractions are constituted in human thought. ” But in the case of abstract labor, we are not dealing with such a “mental abstraction” but with a “real abstraction,” by which we mean an abstraction that is carried out in the actual behavior of humans, regardless of whether they are aware of it. During the act of exchange, an abstraction is made from the use value of commodities, and the commodities are equated as values.

Modern neoclassical economic theory argues in a similar manner, taking utility-maximizing individuals as a point of departure and explaining exchange relationships on the basis of utility estimates. Both classical and neoclassical economic theory begin as a matter of course with isolated individuals and their allegedly universal human strategies and attempt to explain the whole of society from this starting point. In order to do this they have to project onto individuals some of the features of the society they purport to explain.

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An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx's Capital by Michael Heinrich
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