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Karl Marx


Karl Marx’s Grundrisse
Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy 150 Years Later

Edited by Marcello Musto

Hardback 2008. Price: € 82.00, £70.00, $ 130.00, CAD$ 135.00

Paperback 2010. Price: € 27.00, £ 22.50, $ 32.95, CAD$ 35.00

Written between1857 and 1858, the Grundrisse is the first draft of Marx’s critique of political economy and, thus, also the initial preparatory work on Capital. Despite its editorial vicissitudes and late publication, Grundrisse contains numerous reflections on matters that Marx did not develop elsewhere in his oeuvre and is therefore extremely important for an overall interpretation of his thought.

In this collection, various international experts in the field, analysing the Grundrisse on the 150th anniversary of its composition, present a Marx in many ways radically different from the one who figures in the dominant currents of twentieth-century Marxism. The book demonstrates the relevance of theGrundrisse to an understanding of Capital and of Marx’s theoretical project as a whole, which, as is well known, remained uncompleted. It also highlights the continuing explanatory power of Marxian categories for contemporary society and its present contradictions.

With contributions from such scholars as Eric Hobsbawm, Moishe Postone, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Terrell Carver, John Bellamy Foster, Enrique Dussel and Iring Fetscher, and covering subject areas such as political economy, philosophy and Marxism, this book is likely to become required reading for serious scholars of Marx across the world.

Table of Contents

1. Prologue

2. Foreword, Eric Hobsbawn

Part I. Grundrisse: Critical Interpretations

3. History, Production and Method in the 1857 ‘Introduction’ to the Grundrisse, Marcello Musto

4. The Concept of Value in Modern Economy. On the Relationship between Money and Capital in ‘Grundrisse’, Joachim Bischoff and Christoph Lieber

5. Marx Conception of Alienation in ‘Grundrisse’, Terrell Carver

6. The Discovery of the Category of Surplus value, Enrique Dussel

7. Historical Materialism in ‘Forms which precede Capitalist Production’, Ellen Meiksins Wood

8. Marx’s ‘Grundrisse’ and the Ecological Contradictions of Capitalism, John Bellamy Foster

9. Emancipated Individuals in an Emancipated Society. Marx’s Sketch of Post-Capitalist Society in the ‘Grundrisse’, Iring Fetscher

10. Rethinking ‘Capital’ in Light of the ‘Grundrisse’, Moishe Postone 

Part II. Marx at the time of Grundrisse

11. Marx’s life at the time of the ‘Grundrisse’. Biographical notes on 1857-8, Marcello Musto

12. The First World Economic Crisis: Marx as an Economic Journalist, Michael R. Kratke

13. Marx’s ‘Books of Crisis’ of 1857-8, Michael R. Kratke

Part III. Dissemination and reception of Grundrisse in the world 

14. Dissemination and Reception of the ‘Grundrisse’ in the world. Introduction, Marcello Musto

15. Germany and Austria and Switzerland, Ernst Theodor Mohl

16. Russia and Soviet Union, Lyudmila L. Vasina

17. Japan, Hiroshi Uchida

18. China, Zhongpu Zhang

19. France, Andre Tosel

20. Italy, Mario Tronti

21. Cuba and Argentina and Spain and Mexico, Pedro Ribas and Rafael Pla

22. Czechoslovakia, Stanislav Hubik

23. Hungary, Ferenc L. Lendvai

24. Romania, Gheorghe Stoica

25. USA and Britain and Australia and Canada, Christopher J. Arthur

26. Denmark, Birger Linde

27. Yugoslavia, Lino Veljak

28. Iran, Kamran Nayeri

29. Poland, Holger Politt

30. Finland, Vesa Oittinen

31. Greece, John Milios

32. Turkey, E. Ahmet Tonak

33. South Korea, Hogyun Kim

34. Brazil and Portugal, Jose Paulo Netto

Author Biography

Marcello Musto teaches at the Department of Political Science at York University, Toronto – Canada.


“Nothing Marx wrote has better illustrated the complexity of his thought and the enormous array of the world’s appreciation of it than the Grundrisse. This collection of essays gives one an indispensable entry into understanding better what Marx has to offer the world today and the social bases of the multiple Marxisms” — Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University

“In this edited collection of essays by international scholars, Marcello Musto has helped to chart the recognition and influence of one of Marx’s most important, methodologically rich – and most neglected – texts: the Grundrisse. The volume is the fruit of many years of sustained and devoted scholarship, his chapter on the ‘1857 Introduction’ is one of the finest in the collection” — Stuart Hall, Open University

“Karl Marx’s Grundrisse is a magnificent volume, which also serves as a global map of world Marxist theory” — Fredric Jameson, Duke University

“Over the last two decades, Marx’s Grundrisse has increasingly been seen as the key text to the understanding his work. An up-to-date discussion of the Grundrisse is therefore much to be welcomed. And when it is of the consistently high quality that Marcello Musto has here put together, scholars of Marx can only rejoice” — David McLellan, Goldsmiths College, University of London

“Karl Marx’s Grundrisse represents a major resource for studies on Marx. It is a key text for understanding his critique of political economy; but also – and no less importantly – it makes visible the questions that Marx did not develop later in Capital, such as capitalism as a global system, ecology, and the contours of a post-capitalistic society. This volume is required reading for all serious students of Marx” — Samir Amin, Third World Forum

“At a time when Marx’s writings are once again attracting ever-wider circles of readers seeking to understand yet another global capitalist crisis, Marcello Musto has produced an edited volume devoted to Marx’s Grundrisse. The essays of interpretation as well as the studies of both the production of this great work and its reception across many different societies and social contexts make this book an especially timely and valuable contribution to Marx’s current ascendancy” — Richard D. Wolff, New School University, New York

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Rethinking Imperialism

Rethinking Imperialism



Rethinking Imperialism: A Study of Capitalist RulePalgrave-Macmillan 2009


By John Milios, and Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos

For over a century, “imperialism” has been a key concept in Left theory and politics, connoting both the aggressiveness and the characteristics of modern capitalism. This book aims at presenting and assessing imperialism as a theoretical concept. Since a variety of different definitions are assigned to the concept of imperialism, it is necessary to put to the test the rigour of these definitions. The authors of this volume provide a comprehensive evaluation, focusing especially on the tension between Marx’s theoretical system of the Critique of Political Economy and the theories of capitalist expansion and domination that emerge out of the various discourses on imperialism.

The book critically reviews all major (classical and contemporary) theories of imperialism. The authors embark on a critical interrogation of all innovations introduced into theoretical Marxism by theories of imperialism (for example those concerning the stages of historical evolution of capitalism, the capitalist state, internationalization of capital, crises etc.). They show that most of these theories deviate from the theoretical system formulated by Marx, especially in Capital and his other mature economic writings.

Furthermore, these theories seem to poorly interpret historical development. Is there a theory of the capitalist state to justify the thesis that the collapse of colonialism after World War II is so insignificant to the periodization of international capitalist relations (or “global capitalism”) that the “final stage” of capitalism commencing in the last decades of the 19th century is arguably still continuing? To pose the same question differently: on what theoretical grounds can the “early” colonialism, as opposed to the late colonial era (from the late 19th century to World War II), be bracketed off as a distinct period in the history of capitalism? On grounds of Marx’s theory of the CMP this period now has to be revisited. Why does the second colonial period have more affinities with the present-day non-colonial post-World War II era than with the era of early colonialism? Last but not least, is there a tendency towards expansionism that is innate in every form of capitalist domination, i.e. also in the less developed capitalist states that are not to be classified as being in the supposedly “ripe” or “monopoly capitalist” stage?

The authors propose a conceptualization of the international level which comes into a striking contrast with the majority of contemporary approaches of globalization or “new imperialism”. Their interpretation perceives the international level as a complex interlinkage of different (national-state) economic and social structures, each of which evolves at a different and unequal rate as a result primarily of the different class and political correlation of forces that have crystallized within it.

The book addresses the contemporary contradictions and trends of development of the “international capitalist system” and the evolving global economic crisis, formulating a fundamental reinterpretation of imperialism. Important in this line of reasoning remains the notion of imperialist chain, which is formulated in accordance with Marx’s concept of social capital and his theory of the capitalist mode of production. It thus defends the thesis that internal-national relationships and processes always have priority over international relations.

It is precisely the fundamental discovery of Marxism that the class struggle (which is at the same time economic, political and ideological and is thus consummated within each national-state entity) is the driving force of history. It is through these class correlations and relations of domination that international relations, with all the concomitant interdependence on other social formations, take effect. If imperialism is a permanent possibility emerging out of the structures of the capitalist mode of production, the historical form it will ultimately acquire for a particular social formation depends on the way in which the “external” situation (that is to say the international correlation of forces) over-determines but also constrains the practices that emerge out of the evolution of the internal class correlations.

* Classical Theories of Imperialism: A New Interpretation of Capitalist Rule, Expansionism, Capital Export, the Periodization and the “Decline” of Capitalism.
* Post World-War II “Metropolis-Periphery” Theories of Imperialism.
* Theories of Imperialism as Alternatives to Classical and Metropolis-Periphery Approaches.
* The State as a Vehicle of both Capitalist Expansionism and Decolonization: Historical Evidence and Theoretical Questions.
*Capitalist Mode of Production and Social Formation: Conclusions Concerning the Organization of Capitalist Power.
* Capitalist Mode of Production and Monopolies.
* Is Imperialism the Latest Stage of Capitalism? Reflections on the Question of Periodization of Capitalism and Stages of Capitalist Development.
* Internationalisation of Capital.
* Financialization: Market Discipline or Capital Discipline?
* The “Global” Level and the Concept of Imperialist Chain.
Epilogue: Rethinking Imperialism and Capitalist Rule.

John Milios, is Professor of Political Economy and the History of Economic Thought at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece. He has authored more than two hundred (200) papers published or forthcoming in refereed journals (in Greek, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Turkish), and has participated as invited speaker in numerous international conferences. He has also authored or co-authored some eleven scholarly books. He is director of the quarterly journal of economic theory Thesseis (published since 1982 in Greek) and serves on the Editorial Boards of several scholarly journals.

Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos is Visiting Lecturer of Political Economy at the Department of Sociology, University of the Aegean, Greece. He has published papers in refereed journals (in Greek, English and German). His research interests include: theories of Political Economy, theories of Imperialism, theory of Value and Money. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the quarterly journal of economic and political theory Thesseis (published since 1982 in Greek).

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