By Michael Heinrich
Alex Locascio (trans.)
The worldwide monetary concern and recession that all started in 2008 had at the least one unforeseen end result: a surge in revenues of Karl Marx's Capital. even though mainstream economists and commentators as soon as brushed off Marx's paintings as outdated and fallacious, a few are begrudgingly acknowledging an research that sees capitalism as inherently risky. and naturally, there are these, like Michael Heinrich, who've obvious the worth of Marx all alongside, and are in a different place to provide 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 versions in Germany, is the normal paintings for Marxist learn teams, and is used largely in German universities. the writer systematically covers all 3 volumes of Capital and explains all of the easy features of Marx's critique of capitalism in a manner that's transparent and concise. He presents historical past details at the highbrow and political milieu within which Marx labored, and appears at the most important matters past the scope of Capital, resembling type fight, the connection among capital and the country, accusations of ancient determinism, and Marx's realizing of communism. Uniquely, Heinrich emphasizes the financial personality of Marx's paintings, as well as the conventional emphasis at the hard work idea of price, this highlighting the relevance of Capital to the age of economic explosions and implosions.
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Additional resources for An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx's Capital
Hence it is clear that with the phrase “origin” (Genesis) he does not mean the historical emergence of money, but rather a conceptual relationship of development. ” This is a relation that exists within contemporary capitalism. More generally, the question is whether money in a commodity-producing society is merely a practical aid (which is otherwise basically dispensable) or whether money is in fact a necessity. In Marx’s time, this question was not a merely academic one. Various socialist tendencies, in devising alternatives to capitalism, aspired to a society in which private commodity production would continue to exist, but money would be abolished and replaced by certificates of entitlement to goods or slips denoting hours of performed labor.
Only labor-time expended under the average existing conditions of production as well as for the satisfaction of monetary social demand constitutes value. To what extent the privately expended labor was actually necessary to satisfy demand depends on the one hand upon the amount of this demand and on the other hand upon the volume of 52 A N I N T R O D U CT I O N TO K A R L M A R X ’ S C A P I TA L production of other producers—both of which first become apparent in exchange. 3. ) but in regard to the qualifications of the required labor power.
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? 1 Theory and History Engels had already suggested a “historical” manner of reading Marx’s account. In a review of the early writing, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy of 1859, he wrote that the “logical” depiction of categories presented by Marx (logical here meaning conceptual, theoretical) is “indeed nothing but the historical method, only stripped of the historical form and of interfering contingencies” (MECW, 16:475).