The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience: Essay in the Critique of Political Economy

The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience: Essay in the Critique of Political Economy

The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience: Essay in the Critique of Political Economy

The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience: Essay in the Critique of Political Economy

Synopsis

This work establishes the uniqueness of the Marxian category of Capital on the basis of the original texts by Marx. The study has been neglected in the existing literature. The wage-labor relationship is shown to be necessary and sufficient for the existence of capital(ism). Individual ownership is shown to be a particular form of capitalist private property which can also take the form of collective ownership. The author argues the capitalist character of the Soviet economy.

Excerpt

In any endeavor to analyze the Soviet economy within a Marxian theoretical framework, one is immediately confronted with an apparently formidable problem. Are Marx's method and categories at all relevant for an inquiry into the Soviet economy? After the much proclaimed "defeat" of socialism, any effort in that direction would appear futile to most people. Leaving aside the non-Marxists, for whom such a stand is understandable, among Marxists, such reservations already aired earlier, can be summed up in four distinguished cases, which we discuss below.

THE CRITICS

One and a half decades ago, the French Marxist philosopher L. Althusser underlined the "quasi-impossibility of furnishing a satisfactory Marxian explanation" for the latter day Soviet developments, and Marxism's "difficulties, contradictions, shortcomings" leading to a veritable "crisis of Marxism" faced with the latter day Soviet phenomenon (1978: 244, 249). At about the same time P. Sweezy opined that while the part of Marxism dealing with "global capitalism and its crisis. . . works as well as ever," anomalies were appearing in the other part of Marxism, that which is concerned with the future society, inasmuch as there was a gap between "observed reality and the expectations generated by (Marxist) theory." More specifically, contrary to Marx's original ideas, the reality has shown that "a proletarian revolution can give rise to a non-socialist society, . . . a new form of society, neither capitalist nor socialist." Thus the "anomalies have been so massive and egregious that the result has been a deep crisis in . . .

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