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Author: Bill Dunn

This book sees Keynes as neither villain nor hero and develops a sympathetic ‘left’ critique. Keynes was an avowedly elitist and pro-capitalist economist, whom the left should appropriate with caution. But his analysis provides insights at a level of concreteness which Marx’s analysis largely ignored and which were concerned with issues of the modern world which Marx could not have foreseen. A critical Marxist engagement can simultaneously increase the power of Keynes’s insight and enrich Marxism. To understand Keynes, whose work is liberally invoked but seldom read, the book first puts Keynes in context, explaining his biography and the extraordinary times in which he lived, his philosophy and his politics. The book describes Keynes’s developing critique of ‘the classics’, of mainstream economics as he found it, and summarises the General Theory. It shows how Keynes provides an enduringly valuable critique of orthodoxy but vital insights rather than a genuinely general theory. The book then develops a Marxist appropriation of Keynes’s insights. It argues that Marxist analysis of unemployment, of money and interest, and of the role of the state can be enriched through such a critical engagement. The book addresses Keynesianism after Keynes, critically reviewing the practices that came to be known as ‘Keynesianism’ and different theoretical traditions that have claimed his legacy. It considers the crisis of the 1970s, the subsequent anti-Keynesian turn, the economic and ecological crises of the twenty-first century, and the prospects of returning to Keynes and Keynesianism.

American liberalism from the New Deal to the Cold War
Andrew Hartman

The calamity of the Great Depression left millions of Americans wounded. Countless Americans discovered the name for the system that was to blame for their troubles: capitalism . Many also learned the name of the theorist who had prophesized capitalism’s demise: Karl Marx . For most left-wingers of the early 1930s, Marx became the key to answering some of the most pressing questions of the time. Was capitalism on the verge of ultimate collapse? Were the American people up to the task of socialist revolution? No matter where someone stood on these questions, almost

in Marxism and America
Ben Cohen and Eve Garrard

(This article was first published on ‘Normblog’, 13 May 2009) I’ve never understood the inclination of certain Marxists, as well as others who admire aspects of Marx’s work, to deny the antisemitic material there is in his essay On the Jewish Question. Michael Ezra cites the work in a post at the blog “Harry’s Place” discussing whether Marx was an anti-Semite. Michael refers also to an opinion of Gertrude Himmelfarb’s to the effect that Marx expressed views there that ‘were part of the classic repertoire of antisemitism’. This is plainly and undeniably so

in The Norman Geras Reader
Mark Harvey and Norman Geras

2 Marx’s Economy and Beyond I In the present time of financial crisis and economic downturn, there has been renewed interest in Marx’s thought and much discussion of its relevance to current problems. The interest centres, for obvious reasons, on his major economic treatise, Capital. That the three volumes of this work and the related manuscripts – the Grundrisse and Theories of Surplus Value – yield insights regarding both the periodic instability of capitalist economies and the maldistribution of the burdens of economic crisis is not to be doubted. At the

in Inequality and Democratic Egalitarianism
Mark Olssen

Foucault’s critique of Marx and Hegel Foucault stood steadfastly opposed to Marxist or Hegelian conceptions of politics. While he manifested strong ideals of justice and equality, his strong antipathy to Hegel meant that Marx’s Hegelian view of history and method could not be countenanced. I have outlined Foucault’s orientations to Marxism in other writings, so let me here only add some more recent material and thoughts, in as much as they are relevant for the issue of ethics and normativity. The first thing to say is that Foucault’s opposition to Hegel and

in Constructing Foucault’s ethics
Paul Blackledge

2 Marx, Engels and historical materialism Introduction In this chapter I outline Marx and Engels’s theory of history and its relationship to their revolutionary political practice. Many commentators would cite two reasons for dismissing such a project: first, Marx and Engels were not a unity, their ideas and arguments diverging markedly; and, second, neither Marx nor Engels individually produced a coherent and singular oeuvre. While there is obviously some truth in these claims, I have reservations about both of them. As to the suggestion that Marx’s and Engels

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history
Sam King

It is not true that Lenin’s theory of imperialism is disconnected from the Marxist theory of value, even though the link is not made explicit in his work. That would be true if monopoly, as Lenin understood it, had no connection to value transfer or if he saw monopoly as tending to abolish Marx’s law of value (meaning that value transfers that

in Imperialism and the development myth
Ben Cohen and Eve Garrard

(Originally published in ‘A Marxian Approach to the Problem of Justice’, Philosophica (Ghent), Vol. 33 (1), 1984, pp. 33–86) In this essay I review a fast-growing sector of the current literature on Marx and the controversy that has fuelled its growth. During the last decade or so, the keen interest within moral and political philosophy in the concept of justice has left its mark on the philosophical discussion of his work. It has left it in the shape of the question: did Marx himself condemn capitalism as unjust? There are those who have argued

in The Norman Geras Reader
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

2 Marx's defence of Jewish emancipation and critique of the Jewish question The Jew … must cease to be a Jew if he will not allow himself to be hindered by his law from fulfilling his duties to the State and his fellow-citizens. (Bruno Bauer, Die Judenfrage ) 1 The Jews (like the Christians) are fully politically emancipated in various states. Both Jews and Christians are far from being

in Antisemitism and the left
Marcel Stoetzle

Karl Marx (1818–83) grew up in a reasonably well-to-do, caring and harmonious middle-class family in the Rhenish town of Trier, in the far west of Germany near the French border. His father was a lawyer, an enlightened man, and a moderate liberal. He had converted from Judaism to Protestantism only a short time before Marx was born. Trier had been conquered by Napoleon in 1794, bringing among other things Jewish emancipation. The French imperial government acted to reinforce the liberal traditions of the town before it fell to Prussia in 1815. The

in Beginning classical social theory