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It is widely accepted among critical human–animal scholars that an absolute ontological distinction between humans and animals, the human–animal dualism, is an ideological…
It is widely accepted among critical human–animal scholars that an absolute ontological distinction between humans and animals, the human–animal dualism, is an ideological construction. However, even some of the most radical animalists make use of a softer version of it when they explain animal exploitation and domination in capitalism. By criticizing the reintroduction of the human–animal dualism through the back door, I reopen the terrain for a historical–materialist explanation of bourgeois animal exploitation and domination that does not conceptualize them as a matter of species in the first place. Rather, with reference and in analogy to ecosocialist arguments on the greenhouse effect, it is demonstrated that a specific faction of capital – animal capital – which uses animals and animal products as means of production, is the root cause, key agent, and main profiteer of animal exploitation and domination in the current mode of production. Thus, the reworked concept of animal capital presented here differs from the original, postoperaist notion introduced by Nicole Shukin since it is based on a classic sociorelational and value theoretical understanding of capitalism. According to this approach, animals are integrated socioeconomically into the capitalist class society via a relation of superexploitation to capital, which can be called the capital–animal relation.
In theorizing the dynamics of social processes, dialectical thinking informs Marx's historical materialist inquiries and both – dialectics and historical materialist…
In theorizing the dynamics of social processes, dialectical thinking informs Marx's historical materialist inquiries and both – dialectics and historical materialist principles – inform his political–economic analysis. In conceptualizing empirical observations during this work, Marx (1973b, p. 101) assumes that the “concrete is concrete because it is the concentration of many determinations, hence unity of the diverse” and that “With the varying degree of development of productive power, social conditions and the laws governing them vary too” (Marx, 1992, p. 28). This methodological tack strives for the flexibility needed for analyzing patterns in long-term social development (the structure of history) as well as the logic of specific systems in their totality and flux (the history of structures).
This article traces the history of a continuous tradition of Marxian stage theory from the beginning of the twentieth century until the present day. The resolution of the first crisis of Marxism was found in the work of Hilferding on finance capital, Bukharin on the world economy and Lenin on imperialism as a new stage of capitalism. Hilferding's, Bukarin's and Lenin's analysis was carried into the post–World War II era through the work of Sweezy and Mandel. A second wave of Marxian stage theorizing emerged with the end of the post–World War II expansion. Mandel's long wave theory (LWT), the Social Structure of Accumulation Framework (SSAF), and the Regulation Approach (RA) analyzed the stagflationary crises as the end of a long wave of growth. This long wave was underpinned by the emergence of a postwar stage of capitalism, which was analogous to the reorganization brought about by monopoly capital at the turn of the century. These new schools were reluctant to predict the non-resolution of the current crisis, thus opening up the possibility of further stages of capitalism in the future. This elevated Lenin's theory of the highest stage to a general theory of capitalist stages. The last decade has seen a substantial convergence in the three perspectives. In general, this convergence has reaffirmed the importance of Hilferding's, Bukarin's and Lenin's (HBL's) initial contributions to the stage theoretic tradition. The article concludes with some thoughts on the necessity of stage theory for understanding of the current period of globalization.
We revisit the model of socialism proposed in our Towards a New Socialism (1993) and attempt to answer various questions that have been raised regarding the connection between our view of socialism and our perspective on capitalism, the process of transition to socialism, the failings of the Soviet model, the relationship between socialism and communism, the role of direct democracy under socialism, and the use of labor-time calculation in a socialist economy. We argue that the contradictions of capitalist property relations, and of the accumulation process on a world scale, are set to present once again the necessity of the abolition of private property during the 21st century, and offer some thoughts on transitional forms that could implement this abolition. We defend the ideas of direct democracy and economic calculation in terms of labor time, and argue that these elements distinguish our proposals from the Soviet model. We trace the demise of the latter both to specifics of the Russian situation and to more general problems of Leninism, notably Lenin’s conception of the council state, and of socialism as a long period during which the productive forces are built up in preparation for an eventual communism.
In Volume One of Capital, Marx laid out what he called “The Secret of Capitalist Primitive Accumulation.” Capitalist accumulation must be preceded by some previous…
In Volume One of Capital, Marx laid out what he called “The Secret of Capitalist Primitive Accumulation.” Capitalist accumulation must be preceded by some previous accumulation, “an accumulation which is not the result of the capitalist mode of production but its point of departure” (1990, p. 873). Marx, concentrating on European history, identified the “double-freedom” requirement necessary for capitalist production: workers must be “free” to sell their labor-power and they must be “free” from the means of production. But in this analysis, Marx not only was focusing his remarks on Europe, he actually states that the “classic” case is limited to England, while the “history of this expropriation assumes different aspects in different countries, and runs through its various phases in different successions, and at different historical epochs” (p. 876). In the European colonies, land expropriation and forced labor were used, but another important means of forcing indigenous populations to work as wage-laborers or produce cash crops was taxation and the requirement that taxes be paid in colonial currency. This paper provides an overview of this method, and documents its historical importance, concentrating on Africa. Taxation also played an important role in the monetization and commoditization of African economies, and in the rise of a peripheral capitalism. As the paper demonstrates, Marx was not unaware of money taxes functioning in this manner, and the phenomenon was in no way limited to Africa.
This chapter reconsiders commonly held views on the ownership and management of private property, contrasting capitalist and simple property, particularly in relation to…
This chapter reconsiders commonly held views on the ownership and management of private property, contrasting capitalist and simple property, particularly in relation to how a firm shareholder governance model has shaped society. This consideration is motivated by the scale and scope of the modern global crisis, which has combined financial, economic, social and cultural dimensions to produce world disenchantment.
By contrasting an exchange value standpoint with a use value perspective, this chapter explicates current conditions in which neither the state nor the market prevail in organising economic activity (i.e. cooperative forms of governance and community-created brand value).
This chapter offers recommendations related to formalised conditions for collective action and definitions of common guiding principles that can facilitate new expressions of the principles of coordination. Such behaviours can support the development of common resources, which then should lead to a re-appropriation of the world.
It is necessary to think of enterprises outside a company or firm context when reflecting on the end purpose and means of collective, citizen action. From a methodological standpoint, current approaches or studies that view an enterprise as an organisation, without differentiating it from a company, create a deadlock in relation to entrepreneurial collective action. The absence of a legal definition of enterprise reduces understanding and evaluations of its performance to simply the performance by a company. The implicit shift thus facilitates the assimilation of one with the other, in a funnel effect that reduces collective projects to the sole projects of capital providers.
Because forsaking society as it stands is a radical response, this historical moment makes it necessary to revisit the ideals on which modern societies build, including the philosophy of freedom for all. This utopian concept has produced an ideology that is limited by capitalist notions of private property.
The socialist construction with Chinese characteristics must be based on history and reality. According to the requirements of liberation and development of productivity…
The socialist construction with Chinese characteristics must be based on history and reality. According to the requirements of liberation and development of productivity, efforts must be made to reform and improve the production relations, as well as continually consolidate the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. The purpose of this paper is to prove the necessity and superiority of a socialist system through China’s modernization achievements.
Marxist political economics is a critical legacy from classical economics. Its core question is also social production and distribution, which is epitomized in the labor theory of value and the theory of surplus value.
Regarding the significant principles that must be followed, these speeches summarized the logical system and prominent features of the socialist political system in the new normal from several significant and interrelated aspects such as basic methods, core propositions, main tasks and fundamental goals.
The socialist system with Chinese characteristics will gradually appear through further research and prove its superiority. How can a socialist system with Chinese characteristics innovate and develop? Does the system have a future? Is there any historical necessity for the socialist system to replace the capitalist system in human history? These are the questions that need urgent answers and in-depth exploration.
This paper uses Leon Trotsky’s theory of Uneven and Combined Development (UCD) in order to transcend both globalising and methodologically nationalist theories of the…
This paper uses Leon Trotsky’s theory of Uneven and Combined Development (UCD) in order to transcend both globalising and methodologically nationalist theories of the global political economy. While uneven development theorists working in economic geography have demonstrated the logical corollary of capitalist development and the completion of the world market in the persistence of geographic unevenness, they fail to specify or problematise the role of states in this process. This leads to an ambiguity about why the states system has persisted under conditions of deep economic integration across states. State theorists, meanwhile, tend to exclude the world market and system of states as conditioning factors in state (trans)formation. For this reason, much state theory offers only a contingent account of the relationship between patterns of capital accumulation and states’ institutional forms. Geopolitical economy, with its focus on the competitive interrelations between states as constitutive of capitalist value relations, is well placed to transcend the pitfalls of these twin perspectives by closely engaging with the theory of UCD. UCD provides a nonreductionist means of integrating global processes of capital accumulation with their distinctive and peculiar national mediations. A research programme is developed to operationalise UCD for purposes of concrete research – something lacking from recent development in the field.
For Weberian Marxists, the social theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx are complementary contributions to the analysis of modern capitalist society. Combining Weber's…
For Weberian Marxists, the social theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx are complementary contributions to the analysis of modern capitalist society. Combining Weber's theory of rationalization with Marx's critique of commodity fetishism to develop his own critique of reification, Georg Lukács contended that the combination of Marx's and Weber's social theories is essential to envisioning socially transformative modes of praxis in advanced capitalist society. By comparing Lukács's theory of reification with Habermas's theory of communicative action as two theories in the tradition of Weberian Marxism, I show how the prevailing mode of “doing theory” has shifted from Marx's critique of economic determinism to Weber's idea of the inner logic of social value spheres. Today, Weberian Marxism can make an important contribution to theoretical sociology by reconstituting itself as a framework for critically examining prevailing societal definitions of the rationalization imperatives specific to purposive-rational social value spheres (the economy, the administrative state, etc.). In a second step, Weberian Marxists would explore how these value spheres relate to each other and to value spheres that are open to the type of communicative rationalization characteristic of the lifeworld level of social organization.