Marxian Political Economy: Legacy and Renewal

Abstract : The article discusses the relevance of a reference to the framework(s) of analysis of capitalism developed by Marx during the second half of the 19th century in the analysis of contemporary capitalism. The perspective is simultaneously the history of modern human societies and, more technically, the economy of capitalism. The contention is that, in both instances, a Marxian political economy provides the foundations of our understanding, but a number of adjustments are also required. The analysis of modern corporations in Volume III of Capital, with the separation of ownership and management, must be prolonged to present-day institutional features and mechanisms. The homogeneity of wage labor must be broken to incorporate the class foundations of the social divide between managers and other categories of production or clerical workers. The new framework allows for the reassertion of the role of class struggle as the engine of history. Concerning basic concepts, such as the theories of value and capital, or mechanisms, such as competition, the business cycle, and technical and distributional tendencies, the issue is the use of contemporary theoretical and empirical tools, introducing to a process of "sophistication" rather than "revision."
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Gérard Dumesnil, Dominique Levy. Marxian Political Economy: Legacy and Renewal. World Review of Political Economy, 2010, 1 (1), pp.7-22. ⟨halshs-00754690⟩

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