Globalization and the Critique of Political Economy: New Insights from Marxʼs Writings
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The nature of the contemporary global political economy and the significance of the current crisis are a matter of wide-ranging intellectual and political debate, which has contributed to a revival of interest in Marx’s critique of political economy. This book interrogates such a critique within the broader framework of the history of political economy, and offers a new appreciation of its contemporary relevance.
A distinctive feature of this study is its use of the new historical critical edition of the writings of Marx and Engels (MEGA²), their partially unpublished notebooks in particular. The sheer volume of this material forces a renewed encounter with Marx. It demonstrates that the international sphere and non-European societies had an increasing importance in his research, which developed the scientific elements elaborated by Marx’s predecessors.
This book questions widespread assumptions that the nation-state was the starting point for the analysis of development. It explores the international foundations of political economy, from mercantilism to Adam Smith and David Ricardo and to Hegel, and investigates how the understanding of the international political economy informs the interpretations of history to which it gave rise.
The book then traces the developments of Marx’s critique of political economy from the early 1840s to Capital Volume 1 and shows that his deepening understanding of the laws of capitalist uneven and combined development allowed him to recognise the growth of a world working class. Marx’s work thus offers the necessary categories to develop an alternative to methodological nationalism and Eurocentrism grounded in a critique of political economy.
This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of Marx’s thought and in the foundations of International Political Economy.
of money, Marx argues that, even though the element of continuity in circulation lies in money and commodity circulation expresses itself in money circulation, commodity circulation is its presupposition. If the velocity of circulation is given, then the quantity of the means of circulation is simply determined by the prices of commodities. Prices are thus high or low not because more or less money is in circulation, but there is more or less money in circulation because prices are high or low.
civilisation that responds to a world interest. In order to do so, his philosophy of history discarded the materialistic approach of the classical economists and the utopian socialists, and abstracted from the evolution of the forces of production. The diachronic vision of the development of World Spirit, which singularises its will in self-enclosed nations, explicitly translates into a criterion of subjugation of less developed peoples. Crucially, in doing so, Hegel represented a particular
as in the North. Mark Wilks’s three-volume work Historical Sketches of the South of India etc. (London, 1810–17) described each village as a commune or a small republic reproducing the image of primitive communism [74d]. India appeared as ‘an immense body formed by these small republics’, indif ferent toward politics and dynastic changes. Heeren also cited History of Java by Thomas Stanford Raffles (1817),36 governor of Java and its dependencies, includ ing its report on Bali, a small island
organisation existed: simple municipal communities under the guid ance of a single leader; democratic communities with common property and periodical redistribution of land; zamindar or jaghirdar villages and districts subjected to tributary leaders. The British had resorted to the sovereign’s right to appropriate a part of the product of the land, causing the ruin of the communities. They introduced the zamindari system in Bengal, the ryotwari in Madras, and the village system in Punjab, and
community, was an owner or a possessor of the land. This relationship varied greatly in form, but all social forms (Oriental, Slavic, ancient and Germanic), for Marx, presupposed community ownership. That explains why, in the Grundrisse, he seeks to trace the process of dissolution of such an original unity. In The German Ideology, Marx and Engels had argued that the tribal form was the first ‘form of ownership’, but did not delve into the analysis of non- European societies. Since his studies