Class and Capital (Paul Mattick Jr., 2002)

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by Paul Mattick Jr. Download PDF 

[originally published in The Culmination of Capital: Essays on Volume III of Marx’s Capital ed. Martha Campbell and Geert Reuten, 2002; republished as Chapter 9 in Paul Mattick Jr.’s Theory as Critique, Brill 2018]


The concept of class has never remained a harmless concept for very long.

Ralf Dahrendorf

Dahrendorf gave a common view dramatic form when he wrote, ‘Marx post­poned the systematic presentation of his theory of class until death took the pen from his hand. The irony has often been noted that the last (52nd) chapter of the last (third) volume of Capital, which bears the title “The Classes”, has remained unfinished. After a little more than one page the text ends with the lapidary remark of its editor, Engels: “Here the manuscript breaks off”’. Unfortunately, the colourful picture this suggests, of the pen dropping from the hand of the dying Marx as he was on the point of completing his masterwork, isn’t ours to keep: the draft containing this chapter was completed, as is fairly well known, before Marx turned to the preparation of Volume I for publication. Nev­ertheless, some have taken Marx’s delay in returning to the chapter – until it was too late – as an admission in actu of failure, attesting to a basic flaw in his theory. Engels’s explanation is less dramatic: Marx liked to leave conclusions ‘for the final editing, shortly before printing, when the latest historical events would supply him, with unfailing regularity, with illustrations of his theoretical arguments, as topical as anyone could desire’. Reopening the question of the relation of Marx’s final page and a half to the rest of Capital, I wish to explore what Marx’s willingness to leave the matter in so sketchy a state might indicate about the nature, or even the existence, of a Marxian theory of class. [Read PDF]


See also:

Business as Usual by Paul Mattick Jr. (2011)

Art in its Time by Paul Mattick Jr (2003)

Social Knowledge by Paul Mattick Jr (1986)

Essays on Volumes I, II and III of Marx’s ‘Capital’: The essays in this collection address specific themes of Marx’s ‘Capital’. Although the essays can be read independently, they present complementary perspectives on issues at the cutting edge of recent scholarship on Marx’s work. Although all Parts of Capital are discussed, the book is not intended to be a textbook, it will be read by specialists in the field.

Marx’s dialectic – Paul Mattick Jr.: Paul Mattick Jr.’s conspectus of Marx’s dialectic in relation to Hegel’s dialectic and Logic. Mattick argues against such Marxists as Lenin that Hegel’s Logic is imperative to an understanding of Marx’s logic in Capital.

More Business As Usual with Paul Mattick: The following interview was conducted in December 2013 at Paul Mattick Jr’s home in Brooklyn, NY. Paul Mattick Jr. (born 1944) is a Marxist theorist and philosopher. This is the third in a series of interviews conducted with participants from the Global Uprisings conference, that occurred during the weekend of November 15-17th, 2013. View more videos online at www.globaluprisings.org. The transcript of this interview was done by Nick Terpolilli.

An interview with Paul Mattick, Jr. in New York, 1991: An interview conducted in New York on November 17, 1991, by Hannu Reime with Paul Mattick Jr about his father, Paul Mattick Snr and his ideas on council communism and the Bolsheviks against the background of the demise of the Soviet Union.

Stupid regulators and greedy financiers or business as usual? – Chris Wright: As the occupy movement in the US this week shifts its attention from the shiny crystallisations of high finance to the hubs of material circulation, Chris Wright reviews Paul Mattick Jr.’s book, Business as Usual, and asks: what is missed by shouting down only one aspect of capitalism?

A view on the crisis: an interview with Paul Mattick Jr: The Marxist economist and author Paul Mattick Jnr talks to Stuart Watkins about his views on Marx, the economic crisis, and the prospects for socialism

Paul Mattick, Jr., “The Economic Crisis in Fact and Fiction: Paul Mattick, Jr.’s most recent book, Business as Usual: The Economic Crisis and the Future of Capitalism, was just published by Reaktion Books.

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