Exploring Marx's Capital

Philosophical, Economic and Political Dimensions

Jacques Bidet

9789350022870

Aakar Books, New Delhi, 2015

327 pages

Price INR 595.00
Book Club Price INR 446.00
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This book, originally published in French under the title Que faire du  ‘Capital ’?, shows how the novelty and lasting interest of Marx ’s theory arises from the fact that, as against the project of a ‘pure ’ economics, it is formulated in concepts that have simultaneously an economic and a political aspect, neither of these being separable from the other. Jacques Bidet conducts an unprecedented investigation of Marx ’s work in the spirit of the history of science, exploring it as a process of theoretical development. Traditional exegesis reads the successive drafts of Capital as if they were complementary and mutually illuminated one another. In actual fact, like any scientist, Marx only wrote a new version in order to correct the previous one. He started from ideas borrowed from Ricardo and Hegel, and between one draft and the next it is possible to see these being eliminated and restructured. This labour, moreover, was never fully completed.  The author thus re-assesses Marx ’s entire system in its set of constitutive categories: value, market, labour-power, classes, working class, exploitation, production, fetishism, ideology. He seeks to pin down the difficulties that these encountered, and the analytical and critical value they still have today. Bidet attaches the greatest importance to Marx ’s order of exposition, which assigns each concept its place in the overall system, and makes the validity of the construction depend on the pertinence of its initial presuppositions. This is particularly the case with the relationship between market mechanism and capitalism – and thus also between the market and socialism. Jacques Bidet is Professor at the University of Paris-X, holding the chair of Political Philosophy and Theories of Society, His other publications include Théorie de la modernité (1990), John Rawls et la théorie  de la justice (1995), Théorie générate, Théorie du droit, de I ’économic et de la politique (1990) and Explication et reconstruction du ‘Capital ’ (2004).

Jacques Bidet

Jacques Bidet (born 1935) is a French philosopher and social theorist. Currently professor emeritus in the Philosophy Department at theUniversité de Paris X - Nanterre. His works are mainly devoted to the construction of a theory of modern society under the name of Meta/structural theory (théorie méta/structurelle). Modern nation-states, as elements of world system, are structured on both market and organisation, supposedly rational mediations, as co-implied class factors. The philosophical, sociological, historical, legal-political and cultural aspects of this paradigm are developed in the sense of an Altermarxism, by contrast with classical Marxism. In 1989, he founded with Jacques Texier the journal Actuel Marx (Presses Universitaires de France), and in 1995.