Karl Marx’s Grundrisse

Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy 150 Years Later
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London–New York: Routledge
2008
xxvi + 291 pages

Written between 1857 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.

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 the Grundrisse 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, Terrell Carver, John Bellamy Foster, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Enrique Dussel, 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.

Reviews

Endorsements

"The Grundrisse has been rightly described as Marx’s thought at its richest. This volume makes a successful attempt both to display the most significant aspects of the Grundrisse and presents a complete and rigorous account of the dissemination and the reception of this work throughout the world."
Eric Hobsbawm, Birkbeck College
"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
"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
"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
"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

Table of contents

Foreword, Eric Hobsbawn xx

Prologue xxvii

Part I. Grundrisse: Critical Interpretations 1

1. History, Production and Method in the 1857 'Introduction' to the Grundrisse, Marcello Musto 3

2. The Concept of Value in Modern Economy. On the Relationship between Money and Capital in 'Grundrisse', Joachim Bischoff and Christoph Lieber 33

3. Marx Conception of Alienation in 'Grundrisse', Terrell Carver 48

4. The Discovery of the Category of Surplus value, Enrique Dussel 67

5. Historical Materialism in 'Forms which precede Capitalist Production', Ellen Meiksins Wood 79

6. Marx's 'Grundrisse' and the Ecological Contradictions of Capitalism, John Bellamy Foster 93

7. Emancipated Individuals in an Emancipated Society. Marx's Sketch of Post-Capitalist Society in the 'Grundrisse', Iring Fetscher 107

8. Rethinking 'Capital' in Light of the 'Grundrisse', Moishe Postone 120

Part II. Marx at the time of Grundrisse 147

9. Marx's life at the time of the 'Grundrisse'. Biographical notes on 1857-8, Marcello Musto 149

10. The First World Economic Crisis: Marx as an Economic Journalist, Michael R. Krätke 162

11. Marx's 'Books of Crisis' of 1857-8, Michael R. Krätke 169

Part III. Dissemination and reception of Grundrisse in the world 177

12. Dissemination and Reception of the 'Grundrisse' in the world. Introduction, Marcello Musto 179

13. Germany and Austria and Switzerland, Ernst Theodor Mohl 189

14. Russia and Soviet Union, Lyudmila L. Vasina 202

15. Japan, Hiroshi Uchida 213

16. China, Zhongpu Zhang 219

17. France, Andre Tosel 223

18. Italy, Mario Tronti 229

19. Cuba and Argentina and Spain and Mexico, Pedro Ribas and Rafael Pla 236

20. Czechoslovakia, Stanislav Hubik 240

21. Hungary, Ferenc L. Lendvai 243

22. Romania, Gheorghe Stoica 247

23. USA and Britain and Australia and Canada, Christopher J. Arthur 249

24. Denmark, Birger Linde 257

25. Yugoslavia, Lino Veljak 261

26. Iran, Kamran Nayeri 265

27. Poland, Holger Politt 267

28. Finland, Vesa Oittinen 269

29. Greece, John Milios 271

30. Turkey, E. Ahmet Tonak 274

31. South Korea, Hogyun Kim 276

31. Brazil and Portugal, Jose Paulo Netto 278

Index 281

Excerpts