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Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods

Re-reading Marx - New Perspectives after the Critical Edition

Area bacheca: 586&

Michael Heinrich, Fachhochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft - Reconstruction or Deconstruction? Methodological controversies about value and capital and new insights by the critical edition.

In West Germany a new reading of Marx started in the late 1960ies. The debates on Marx's economic theory were deeply influenced by methodological questions especially raised by "Grundrisse" and the insight that "Capital" is unfinished in different dimensions and that some central lines of argumentations are covered by long lasting misinterpretations. As a consequence different attempts of a "Reconstruction of the Critique of Political Economy" were made. Also in East Germany in the late 1970ies and during the 1980ies in some respect similar debates emerged among the editors of the critical edition, which was prepared in (East) Berlin and Moscow.

The nearly complete second department of the critical edition ("Capital and its preparatory manuscripts") throws not only new light on a certain number of heavily discussed problems like the dialectical development of categories, the substantialist or monetary character of value, the role of the concept "capital in general" etc. Also the limits of any project of "Reconstruction", which presupposes lines of argumentation, which only need to be uncovered, became more clearly. In some respects the critical edition provides the material for a certain kind of deconstruction, at least of some common views on Marx's "Capital"