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GS/POLS 6060 3.0 M (W) – GS/SPTH 6200 3.0

Appropriating Marx’s Capital I

Winter 2011

Course Director: Dr. Marcello Musto

Lecture Time: Tue, 17:30 – 20.30

Class Location: Ross Building, S674

Office Location: 620 Atkinson College Office Hours: Tue. 15:30-16:30

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 416 – 736 2100 - Ext. 20241

Course Syllabus

Two decades after 1989, when he was too hastily consigned to oblivion, Karl Marx has returned to the limelight. In the last few years Capital has not only received the attention of university professors, but has also been the focus of widespread interest prompted by the international financial crisis, as leading daily and weekly papers throughout the world have been discussing the contemporary relevance of its pages. Furthermore, the literature dealing with Marx, which all but dried up 20 years ago, is showing signs of revival in many countries; and there are now, once again, many international conferences and university courses dedicated to his analysis of capitalism. Though among the most important books of the last 150 years, Marx’s Capital nevertheless represents an incomplete project. Marx himself was only able to publish the first volume (1867) in his lifetime; volumes two (1885) and three (1894) were prepared for publication by Friedrich Engels. Moreover, after Engels’ death, many of Capital’s preparatory manuscripts were published by others still, some of which provided valuable further elucidations of Marx’s theoretical project, sometimes significantly changing previous interpretations (e.g., the Grundrisse, published by the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute of Moscow in 1939, and translated into English only in 1973).

The first part of this course aims to reconstruct all the stages of Marx’s critique of political economy (starting from Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844), and, particularly, the making of Capital, Volume I through its various preparatory drafts, like the Grundrisse (the interpretation of which will be emphasized), the Theories of Surplus Value and the 'Results of the Immediate Process of Production', better known as the 'Unpublished Chapter VI'.

The second part of the seminar will be dedicated to a close reading of Capital, Volume I, with particular attention to the following topics: a) the transformation of money into capital; b) the analysis of absolute and relative surplus-value; c) the primitive accumulation of capital; and d) Marx's conception of post-capitalistic society as it appears in the most political sections of his opus magnum.

The final class of the course will look critically at the readings of Capital elaborated by some of the main schools of Marxism of the Twentieth Century, and consider the most important works published in recent years on the continuing relevance of Marx’s Capital for an understanding of the contemporary world and its problems.

Course Requirements and evaluation

Class Participation

30%

Presentation (30 min.)

10%

Presentation Essay (1500 – 2000 words)

15%

Final paper (5000 words)

45%

Starting January 18, each class will begin with a 30 minute student presentation. The presentation essay is due (in hard copy and electronic copy) one week after the presentation, so that they can be eventually revised according to the class discussion.

The final paper will be an essay addressing one of the problematic of the course and will be due 18 April, in hard copy and also by email.

Access to Readings:

The reading list has been organized as follows: each topic specifies a number of Required Readings. These are the minimum which you should read every week in order to be able to participate fully in the seminar discussions. You can go deeper into the topic using the Additional Readings, and you should certainly do so when you come to prepare your presentation.

The volumes of Marx-Engels Collected Works are available online at http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/cw/index.htm; while the other books and articles indicated in the readings are on reserve at Scott library.

Finally, Karl Marx, Grundrisse (Penguin, 1993), Karl Marx, Capital (Penguin, 1990), and Marcello Musto (ed.), Karl Marx’s Grundrisse. Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Routledge, 2008) have been ordered for the bookstore.

A list of additional texts by choice for the last class will be distributed during the course.

 Schedule of Classes and Readings

Jan 4 Introduction and Overview

Jan 11 Different Marxes, Different Marxisms

Required Readings:

Marcello Musto, 'The Rediscovery of Karl Marx', International Review of Social History, vol. 52 part 3, 2007: 477-498.

Eric Hobsbawm, 'The Fortunes of Marx's and Engels' Writings'', in idem, ed., The History of Marxism, Volume 1: Marxism in Marx's day, Harvester 1982.

Additional Readings:

Maximilien Rubel – Margaret Manale, Marx Without Myth: AChronological Study of His Life and Work, Oxford: Blackwell 1975.

David McLellan, Karl Marx: his life and thought, London: Palgrave 2006.

Ernest Mandel, 'Marx, Karl Heinrich', in John Eatwell - Murray Milgate - Peter Newman (eds), The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, Volume 3 , pp. 367-383.

Hal Draper, The Marx-Engels Chronicle, New York: Schoken Books 1985.

Jan 18 The Formation of the Critique of Political Economy: 1843- 1857

Required Readings:

Marcello Musto, 'The Formation of Marx’s Critique of Political Economy: From the Studies of 1843 to the Grundrisse', Socialism & Democracy, Vol. 24 n. 3 (July 2010): 66-100.

Karl Marx, 'Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy' [1859].

Karl Marx, Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (Sections: 'Estranged Labour', 'The Relationship of Private Property', 'Private Property and Labour', 'Private Property and Communism') [1844].

Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy (Chap. II: 'The Metaphysics of Political Economy') [1847].

Karl Marx, “Wage-Labour and Capital” [1849].

Michael Kräetke, 'The First World Economic Crisis: Marx as an Economic Journalist', in Marcello Musto (ed.), Karl Marx’s Grundrisse. Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy 150 Years Later Routledge: 2008, pp. 162-168.

Karl Marx, articles for the New-York Tribune:

'The Economic Crisis in Europe', 'The Trade Crisis in England', 'The Financial Crisis in Europe' from MECW 15; and 'British Commerce and Finance' from MECW 16.

Additional Readings:

Jürgen Rojahn, 'The emergence of a theory: the importance of Marx’s notebooks exemplified by those from 1844', Rethinking Marxism, vol. 14, n. 4 (2002): 29-46.

Marcello Musto, 'Marx in Paris. Manuscripts and notebooks of 1844', Science & Society, Vol. 73, n. 3 (July 2009): 386-402.

Ernest Mandel, The Formation of the Economic Thought of Karl Marx, 1843 to Capital, New York: Monthly Review Press 1971.

Louis Althusser, For Marx, London: Verso 2005 (Chap. 2: 'On the Young Marx')

Allen Oakley, Marx’s Critique of Political Economy. Intellectual Sources and Evolution. Volume I: 1844 to 1860, London: Routledge 1984.

Karl Marx, articles for the New-York Tribune:

'Pauperism and Free Trade – The Approaching Commercial Crisis' from MECW 11; 'Revolution in China and Europe' and 'Political Movements – Scarcity of Bread in Europe' from MECW 12; 'The Commercial Crisis in Britain' from MECW 13; 'The Crisis in England' from MECW 14; 'The French Crédit Mobilier' (I, II and III), 'The Monetary Crisis in Europe', 'The Causes of the Monetary Crisis in Europe', 'The European Crisis', 'The New French Bank Act', 'The Bank Act of 1844 and the Monetary Crisis in England', 'The Crisis in Europe', 'The French Crisis', 'The Economic Crisis in France' and 'The Financial State of France' from MECW 15; 'The English Bank Act of 1844' and 'Commercial Crises and Currency in Britain' from MECW 16.

Jan 25 The '1857 Introduction'

Required Readings:

Karl Marx, Grundrisse ('Introduction'), New York: Penguin 1973, pp. 83-111.

Stuart Hall, 'Marx’s notes on method: A "reading" of the "1857 Introduction"', Cultural Studies, Vol. 17, n. 2 (2003): 113-49.

Marcello Musto, 'History, Production and Method in the 1857 Introduction', in idem, ed., Karl Marx’s Grundrisse. Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy 150 Years Later, pp. 3-32.

Additional Readings:

Terrell Carver, 'Commentary', in idem, ed., Karl Marx: Texts on Method, Oxford: Blackwell 1975, pp. 88-158.

Louis Althusser - Étienne Balibar, Reading Capital, London: Verso 1979.

Feb 1 Capitalism and Earlier Economic Formations

Required Readings:

Karl Marx, Grundrisse ('Forms Which Precede Capitalist Production'), pp. 471-513.

Eric Hobsbawm, Introduction to Karl Marx, Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations, International Publishers: 1965, pp. 9-65.

Ellen Meiksins Wood, Historical Materialism in 'Forms Which Precede Capitalist Production' , in Marcello Musto, ed., Karl Marx's Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy 150 Years Later , pp. 79-92.

Vv. Aa., 'Dissemination and Reception of the Grundrisse in the World',Marcello Musto, ed., Karl Marx's Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Chap. 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24 and 25).

Additional Readings:

Ellen Meiksins Wood, Democracy Against Capitalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1995 ('Introduction' and Chap. 1: 'The Separation of the 'Economic' and the 'Political' in Capitalism), pp. 1-48.

G. A. Cohen, Karl Marx's Theory of History, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Feb 8 From the Grundrisse to Capital

Required Readings:

Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (Chap. I: 'The Commodity').

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I ('Preface to the First Edition'; and 'Postface to the French Edition'), pp. 89-93, 105.

Roman Rosdolsky, The Making of Marx’s Capital, London: Pluto 1977 (Chap. 1 and 2).

Joseph O'Malley - Keith Algozin, ed., Rubel on Karl Marx: Five Essays, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1981.

Moishe Postone, Time, Labor, and Social Domination, Cambridge: Canbridge University Press 1993 (Chap. 1: 'Rethinking Marx's Critique of Capitalism', and Chap. 10: 'Concluding Considerations'), pp. 3-42 and 385-399.

Michael Lebowitz, Beyond Capital, Basingstoke: Palgrave 2003 (Chap. 3: 'The Missing Book on Wage-Labour'), pp. 27-50.

Kevin Anderson, Marx at the Margins, Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2010 (Chap 5: From the Grundrisse to Capital: Multilinear Themes), pp. 151-195.

Additional Readings:

Allen Oakley, Marx’s Critique of Political Economy. Intellectual Sources and Evolution. Volume II: 1861 to 1863, Routledge: 1985.

Allen Oakley, The Making of Marx’s Critical Theory, London: Routledge 1983.

Vytalij Vygoskij, The Story of a Great Discovery: How Karl Marx Wrote 'Capital', Berlin: Verlag der Wirthschaft 1973.

Feb 15 Labour and Capital in the Unpublished 'Chapter VI' of 1863- 1864

Required Readings:

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I ('Appendix: Results of the Immediate Process of Production'), pp. 948-1084.

Additional Readings:

Ernest Mandel, 'Appendix: Results of the Immediate Process of Production: Introduction', in Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I, pp. 943-947.

Mar 1 The Transformation of Money into Capital

Required Readings:

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I (Chap. 3: 'Money, or the Circulation of Commodities', sections 1 'The Measure of Values' and 2(a) 'The Means of Circulation: The Mertamorphosis of Commodities'; Part Two: 'The Transformation of Money into Capital' Chap. 7: 'The Labour Process and the Valorization Process'; and Chap. 10: 'The Working Day', section 7 'The Struggle for a Normal Working Day. Impact of the English Factory Legislation on Other Countries'), pp. 188-209, 247-280, 283-308, 411-416.

Additional Readings:

David Harvey, The Limits to Capital, London: Verso 2006 (Chap. 1: 'Commodities, Values and Class Relation'), pp. 1-38.

Ben Fine - Alfredo Saad-Filho, Marx's Capital, London: Pluto Press 2010.

Ernest Mandel, 'Introduction', in Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I, pp. 11-86.

Kevin Anderson, “The Unknown Marx’s Capital, volume I: The French Edition of 1872-75, 100 Years later”, in Review of Radical Political Economy, vol. 15, n.4 (1983), pp. 71-80.

Mar 8 Exploitation and Surplus-Value

Required Readings:

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I (Chap. 12: 'The Concept of Relative Surplus-Value'; Chap. 14: 'The Division of Labour and Manufacture'; Chap. 15: 'Machinery and Large-Scale Industry', sections 3 'The Most Immediate Effects of Machine Production on the Worker', 4 'The Factory', 5 'The Struggle between Worker and Machine', and 10 'Large-Scale Industry and Agriculture'; and Chap. 16: 'Absolute and Relative Surplus-Value'), pp. 429-438, 455-491, 517-564, 636-639, 643-654.

Additional Readings:

Enrique Dussel, 'The Discovery of the Category of Surplus Value', in Marcello Musto (ed.), Karl Marx’s Grundrisse. Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy 150 Years Later Routledge: 2008, pp. 66-78.

Enrique Dussel, Towards an unknown Marx: A Commentary on the Manuscritps of 1861-1863, New York: Routledge 2001.

Mar 15 Expropriation and Primitive Accumulation of Capital

Required Readings:

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I (Chap. 25, section 3: 'Progressive Production of a Relative Surplus Population or Industrial Reserve Army'; Part Eight: 'The So-called Primitive Accumulation'), pp. 781-794, 873-940.

Additional Readings:

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I (Part Seven: 'The Process of Accumulation of Capital'), pp. 711-870.

David Harvey, The New Imperialism, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2005 (Chap. 4: 'Accumulation by Disposition').

Mar 22 Marx's Conception of Socialism in Capital and its Preparatory Manuscripts

Required Readings:

Karl Marx, Grundrisse ('The Fragments on Machines'), New York: Penguin 1973, pp. 690-712.

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I (Chap. I, section 4: 'The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof'; Chap. 10: 'The Working Day', section 5 'The Struggle for a Normal Working Day. Laws for the Compulsory Extension of the Working Day, from the Middle of the Fourteenth to the End of the Seventeenth Century'; and Chap. 13: 'Co-operation'), pp. 163-177, 375-389, 439-454.

Iring Fetscher, 'Emancipated Individuals in an Emancipated Society: Marx's Sketch of Post-Capitalist Society in the Grundrisse', in Marcello Musto(ed.), Karl Marx’s Grundrisse. Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy 150 Years Later Routledge: 2008, pp. 107-119.

Roman Rosdolsky, The Making of Marx’s Capital, London: Pluto 1977 (Chap. XXVIII and XXIX).

Paresh Chattopadhyay, 'The Failure of Twentieth-Century Socialism and Marx’s Continuing Relevance', Socialism and Democracy, vol. 24, n. 3 (2010), pp. 23-45.

Paresh Chattopadhyay, 'Passage to Socialism: The Dialectic of Progress in Marx', Historical Materialism, Vol. 14, n.3 (2006), pp. 45-84.

Michael Lebowitz, Beyond Capital, Basingstoke: Palgrave 2003 (Chap. 11: 'From Capital to the Collective Worker'), pp. 197-210.

Additional Readings:

Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme.

Karl Marx, 'Letter to Vera Zasulich' (including the drafts) [1881], in MECW 24.

Daniel Bensaid, Marx for Our Times, London: Verso 2002.

Isaak Illich Rubin, Essays on Marx’s Theory of Value, Detroit: Black & Red 1972.

Mar 29 The Current Importance of Marx

Required Readings:

Marcello Musto, ed., Marx for Today (Special Issue of the Journal Socialism and Democracy [vol. 24.3], November 2010), Part II: 'Marx’s Global Reception Today', pp. 147-211.