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The view of Karl Marx as “revolutionary” endorsing violent overturn of the capitalist system is standard textbook fare filtering through to popular and professional…
The view of Karl Marx as “revolutionary” endorsing violent overturn of the capitalist system is standard textbook fare filtering through to popular and professional opinion. John Stuart Mill specialists frequently contrast their subject with Marx in this regard. The perspective on Marx as “revolutionary” is unconvincing, for Marx was no less “evolutionary” than Mill, his version of evolution reflecting concern that reformist measures to correct perceived injustices in the capitalist-exchange system might assure its permanence, and extending to the stage following a proletarian political takeover which might itself occur by way of democratic voting enabled by extensions of the franchise accorded by the capitalist state itself. Our demonstration prefaces a speculative evaluation of Mill’s stance regarding Marx – “speculative” since Mill apparently never read Capital. In particular, Mill would doubtless have welcomed Marx’s position, for to differentiate him from the continental “revolutionaries” makes excellent sense considering his principle that when it comes to prediction all depends on ruling circumstances coupled with his evolutionism including allowance after a proletarian takeover of a residual capitalist sector, income inequality, and compensation of expropriated property owners. By the same token he would have found unpalatable Marx’s vision for a more distant communism of a central-controlled system.
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.
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.
This paper traces the path of Marxism in the 20th century with special focus upon its place within political economy. It argues that the emphasis upon Marxism as a…
This paper traces the path of Marxism in the 20th century with special focus upon its place within political economy. It argues that the emphasis upon Marxism as a political economy has been directly connected to movement away from Marxism as a theory of class struggle. It begins by establishing how and why, in Marx’s view, all history is a history of class struggles and integrates this perspective with his work in Capital. It is argued that political economy was one of the things Marx was critiquing and that he was attempting to show political economy to be a product of capitalism rather than seeking to establish a Marxist political economy.
This paper analyses “luxemburgian” political and economic thought and tries to associate its importance with Luxemburg’s role as a socialist and as an activist in the women’s liberation movement. Luxemburg’s “feminism,” Marxism, anti-authoritarianism and independent thinking make her a figure of continuing importance within both Marxism and feminism. At the same time, she was part of a changing political and social reality and not only passed on an important legacy to economics, but also through her political activism alerted us to the dangers of anti-democratic behaviour. Similarly, her defence of internationalism and denunciation of economically motivated imperialist wars was equally original. Summing up, it is Luxemburg who originated new ways of thinking, which go beyond simple representational thought.
According to the traditional Soviet view, the Soviet economic society, based essentially on governmental and collective farm property and overall national planning, is…
According to the traditional Soviet view, the Soviet economic society, based essentially on governmental and collective farm property and overall national planning, is “socialist”, and has been so since Stalin's proclamation to that effect in the 1930s. Most Western observers, Marxist and non‐Marxist, recognise these two socio‐institutional features of the Soviet politico‐economic system and ascribe substantial importance to them. Beyond this point, interpretations differ considerably. Five alternative views may be distinguished. These contending perspectives argue that Soviet economic society is: