Download Beyond Capital: Marx's Political Economy of the Working by Michael A. Lebowitz PDF

By Michael A. Lebowitz

A totally transformed variation of his vintage quantity, Michael Lebowitz's Beyond Capital explores one of many nice debates between Marx students, that of the consequences of Marx's uncompleted works. Lebowitz specializes in the facet of the employees, which, he argues, was once now not built in Marx's Das Kapital and which used to be to be the topic of his meant publication on wage-labor. Beyond Capital criticizes the one-sidedness of a lot of Marxist proposal and argues that Marx's political economic system of the operating classification and how during which people produce themselves via their struggles are valuable for going past capital.

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Sample text

Nevertheless, as he noted in relation to Ricardo’s disciples, the very effort of disciples to resolve these inconsistencies and unresolved contradictions can begin the process of disintegration of that theory. Disintegration begins when the disciples are driven to ‘explain away’ the ‘often paradoxical relationship of this theory to reality’; it begins when, by ‘crass empiricism’, ‘phrases in a scholastic way’ and ‘cunning argument’, they attempt to demonstrate that the theory is still correct (despite ‘the facts’).

Orthodox Marxism … does not imply the uncritical acceptance of the results of Marx’s investigations. It is not the ‘belief’ in this or that thesis, nor the exegesis of a ‘sacred’ book. On the contrary, orthodoxy refers exclusively to method. Georg Lukács (1972: 1) Consider that picture of capitalism presented in the last chapter. Based upon historical experience, is there any reason to reject Marx’s analysis of the nature of capital? Should we scuttle the idea that capital rests upon the exploitation of workers, that it has an insatiable appetite for surplus labour, that it accordingly searches constantly for ways to extend and intensify the workday, to drive down real wages, to increase productivity?

It is the consumer who determines its utility’ (Marx, 1847a: 118). Yet those consumers who determine the utility or use-value of products (that is, determine that products are use-values) are themselves beings within a particular society. Rather than considering their judgements as totally subjective and emanating from an eternal human nature, Marx argued that the reference point was necessarily society itself: The consumer is no freer than the producer. His estimation depends upon his means and his needs.

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