A Companion To Marx's Capital, Volume 2

A Companion To Marx's Capital, Volume 2

David Harvey

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 178168121X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression shows no sign of coming to a close and Marx’s work remains key in understanding the cycles that lead to recession. For nearly forty years, David Harvey has written and lectured on Capital, becoming one of the world’s most foremost Marx scholars.

Based on his recent lectures, and following the success of his companion to the first volume of Capital, Harvey turns his attention to Volume 2, aiming to bring his depth of learning to a broader audience, guiding first-time readers through a fascinating and hitherto neglected text. Whereas Volume 1 focuses on production, Volume 2 looks at how the circuits of capital, the buying and selling of goods, realize value.

This is a must-read for everyone concerned to acquire a fuller understanding of Marx’s political economy.

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First published by Verso 2013 © David Harvey 2013 All rights reserved The moral rights of the author have been asserted Verso UK: 6 Meard Street, London W1F 0EG US: 20 Jay Street, Suite 1010, Brooklyn, NY 11201 www.versobooks.com Verso is the imprint of New Left Books British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Harvey, David, 1935– A companion to Marx’s

opinion, now becomes simply the basis for a superstructure of credit.” As a result, “all standards of measurement, all explanatory reasons that were still more or less justified within the capitalist mode of production, now vanish. What the speculating trader risks is social property, not his own. Equally absurd now is the saying that the origin of capital is saving since what this speculator demands is precisely that others should save for him” (C3, 570). Goodbye to the Weberian myth of the

in relation to the individual capitalist. But it must be correct for the capitalist class as a whole, on the assumption of simple reproduction. (410) This is a beautiful example of Marx using drastic powers of simplification and abstraction to identify a vitally important feature of a capitalist mode of production. He invokes this result elsewhere—as we have seen, for example, in Volume III, though there he concedes the importance of an autonomous class of nonproductive consumers. But the

from me, on these two topics. To these questions, I would now add the issue of the dynamics of the relation to nature, which Marx fully recognizes as being of universal significance but fails to investigate in sufficient detail within the generality of a capitalist mode of production. There are now, of course, substantial literatures dealing with all of these topics, but the exhaustion that resulted from the intense debate over the Marxist theory of the capitalist state in the 1970s, the pulling

form of the distinction between fixed capital and circulating capital. It is only in this way that a thing that functions as means of labour becomes fixed capital. If its material properties also allow it to serve for other functions than that of means of labour, then whether it is fixed capital or not depends on these various functions. Cattle as draught animals are fixed capital; when being fattened for slaughter they are raw material that eventually passes into circulation as a product, and so

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