The methodology of Capital
Karl Marx, Evald Ilyenkov, and the dialectics of the twenty-first century
in Twenty-first-century capital
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This chapter argues that the best proof of the correctness of Marxism has to be its ability to answer the challenges of the modern epoch. Such a proof requires works that feature the dialectical development of a system of categories that integrally reflect the present-day state of the system of capitalist production relations, using the method of ascent from the abstract to the concrete. The chapter recalls the main features of the method of ascent from the abstract to the concrete as applied in Capital.

The task is posed of constructing a system of categories that reflects the system of production relations of twenty-first-century capitalism. In order to fulfil this task, it is not sufficient to distinguish the various modifications of particular categories that characterise the present stage of the involution of the capitalist economy. It is necessary to develop a system of categories that reproduces the system of Capital at a new level of the development of capitalism. This is not development in the pure sense of word: to a certain extent, twenty-first-century capitalism is changing in order to survive, in a process of self-negation. This is not development (evolution), but involution.

Twenty-first-century capital

Critical post-Soviet Marxist reflections


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