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Re-reading both Hegel and Marx: The" new dialectics" and the method of Capital

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... These qualifications, however, do not exempt the systematic-dialectical tradition from the charge of idealism (Saad-Filho, 1997). The claim that the real material world has taken an ideal shape under capitalism because of the real abstractive powers of capital does not provide licence to avoid the analysis of the real concrete. ...
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Modes of dialectical reasoning were introduced into International Relations (IR) from the 1980s onwards in the context of the post-positivist debate as an alternative intellectual resource drawn from the philosophy of the social sciences. To the extent that the deployment of dialectics for IR drew upon Marx and the wider Hegelian Marxist tradition, it was challenged philosophically and substantively on two fronts. Philosophically, the problem emerged how to disassociate dialectics from the ‘systemic’ Hegelian legacy, which expressed itself in the naturalism and monism of dialectical materialism, and how to overcome a reading of capital as a self-unfolding conceptual category, expressed in systematic dialectics, which de-historicised and de-subjectified capitalism as a social relation. Substantively, the problem remained how to anchor a Historical Sociology of international relations in a historicist philosophy of praxis to avoid the temptation of a relapse into structuralist modes of explanation. By addressing this double challenge, this paper identifies a central lacuna within the Marxist IR tradition—the gap between general Marxist theories of IR and the analysis of foreign policy-making. This gap persists in equal measure in the bifurcation between the fields of general IR theory and actor-specific foreign policy analysis (FPA). For general IR theories—Marxist and non-Marxist—tend to deploy structuralist versions of theory, which relegate the problem of foreign policy-making to lesser, possibly non-theorisable, forms of inquiry. FPA is thereby demoted and subsumed under wider structural imperatives capable of cross-case generalisation. The paper moves from a critical exposition of the wider debate in IR and FPA of attempts to close this gap, via a critique of dialectical materialism and systematic dialectics, to a re-statement of the dialectic of the concrete. It concludes with a reconsideration of how dialectical thinking may bridge this gap by incorporating foreign policy as the crucial site for the active drawing together and re-articulation of multiple influences from the domestic and the foreign into a Historical Sociology of international relations.
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El propósito de este trabajo es plantear un concepto un concepto de dialéctica sin mistificaciones, siguiendo para eso la lectura que Bertell Ollman hace de la obra de Marx. En ese sentido, se comprenderá a la dialéctica como una tradición filosófica y como un método de investigación en el que la figura de Marx es fundamental, pero que puede nutrirse con la perspectiva de otros filósofos que comparten algunos de sus puntos. En segundo término, se explicará la base ontológica (o la filosofía de las relaciones internas) y el sustrato epistemológico (o el proceso de abstracción) que le permiten a la dialéctica operar. Aclarados estos aspectos, se expondrán las principales leyes o tendencias dialécticas. Con el objeto de comprender su operatividad, se caracterizará a la dialéctica como una tradición y método filosófico profundamente crítico. Finalmente se ofrecerán algunas conclusiones.
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Between 2010 and 2015 Greek banks received capital injections as part of an EU-led rescue package that left the Greek state with large losses on their investments and a debt to repay; in the most acute moments of the crisis the European central bank twice forced the Bank of Greece to assume sole responsibility for any losses on lending to Greek banks, and; in 2015 Greek banks were subject to EU-mandated controls that restricted the transformation of Greek bank deposits into Euros in other forms. Why did European banking infrastructure leave the Greek state facing losses and liabilities alone, while still full members of the EU and Euro Area (EA)? We find that European banking infrastructure is combined-but-not-unified, and that integration requires both. Drawing on Marxist political economy we examine the financial mechanisms in detail and find a scalar split in state provision of banking infrastructure in the EU/EA. At the supranational level, the removal of barriers to cross-border banking and a common rule book. Meanwhile, promises of monetary support, such as deposit guarantees and lending of last resort have largely remained the responsibility of nation states. The combined-but-not-unified structure ensured that when crisis struck, Greece was isolated, yet still fully part of the EU/EA.
Thesis
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In this thesis I argue for two main conclusions about Marx’s critique of political economy in Volume 1 of Capital: (1) While Marx’s critique of political economy is not an exact science like Newton’s mathematical physics, it is nevertheless a precursor of modern scientific realism since it endeavours to uncover the underlying essence of phenomena (their causal foundations) which lies hidden behind their appearances (the observable features of phenomena): it anticipates the central aim of modern scientific realism. (2) Marx’s scientific analysis of capitalism is very Lockean, since both Marx and Locke each draw a distinction between the observable features of phenomena and their causal foundations: for Marx, this is done in terms of his Hegelian distinction between appearance and essence, while for Locke it is done in terms of his distinction between the nominal and real essences of things. Prior to this, I consider the question about whether the true epistemological source of positivism is Locke’s empiricism or Hume’s empiricism, as this needs to be done if we are to accept the claim that Marx’s critique of capitalism is very Lockean. I show that it is Hume’s empiricism since all positivists from Mach through to Poincaré, Duhem and the logical positivists like Schlick, Hahn, Neurath, Carnap, Feigl, etc. all accepted Hume’s basic epistemological principle about how there can be no idea of anything unless based on an impression of it. As such, since we can have no idea of the hidden essence of phenomena, it should be discarded as unknowable. Science should just focus on the observable ‘law-like’ regularities of the phenomena of the world. And the reason why Locke’s empiricism is not the basis of modern positivism is because it is ambiguous between positivism and scientific realism. Locke’s empiricism provides us with a basis for not just inferring the actual existence of the unknown essences of phenomena on the basis of his theory of ideas but also speculating about what sorts of primary qualities they might possess and how they might interact with each other to produce the specific secondary qualities of things (as exemplified by the inner ‘corpuscular’ constitution of gold and how it produces its specific observable properties like its colour, hardness, etc.). This thesis concludes on the note that if you want to give a scientific analysis of the phenomena of capitalism then you need to go beyond immediate experience (appearances) to acquire some theoretical knowledge of how things really are (essence).
Conference Paper
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The first section of Capital's second book is one of the main moments in which Marx exposes in a more systematic way the dialectic between capital's form and content, still at a high level of abstraction. This dialectical exposition consists of unfolding the functional logic inherent in each form assumed and transmuted by capital, such as money, commodity, and production. The logical constitution of the forms assumed by capital is submitted to the historical constitution of these objects, therefore, the categories that constitute the capitalist circulation can be considered logic-historical. This article aims to show in detail the dialectical exposition present in the first section of Capital's second book and discuss, based on fragments from this section, two interpretations of Marxian philosophy: the one presented by György Lukács in The Ontology of Social Being, which contemplates a more comprehensive (extensive, ample, wide) interpretation of the relation between logic and history and a conception presented by Chris Arthur in The New Dialectic and Marx's Capital, which the role of history in the categories gets a second place (is second, is in the background).
Chapter
Die Kritik des Kapitalismus war das Lebensthema von Karl Marx. Von den frühen 1840er Jahren bis zum Ende seines Lebens verfolgte Marx das Ziel, die kapitalistische Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftsordnung, die sich im 19. Jh. in Westeuropa und Nordamerika etablierte, einer Kritik zu unterziehen. Mit welchen theoretischen Mitteln aber tat er dies? Wie sich seinen Schriften und Äußerungen entnehmen lässt, hat Marx zunächst im Rahmen einer philosophischen Anthropologie den Nachweis führen wollen, dass das kapitalistische ›Privateigentum‹ eine unaufhebbare Quelle der Entfremdung sei und deshalb eine Entfaltung des menschlichen Wesens unmöglich mache. Diese Art der Kapitalismuskritik hat Marx aber noch im Verlauf der 1840er Jahre preisgegeben, und in seinen späteren Schriften — insbesondere seinem Hauptwerk Das Kapital. Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie — war es sein erklärtes Anliegen, die kapitalistischen Systeme seiner Zeit im Rahmen einer Gesellschafts-, Ökonomie- und Geschichtstheorie zu kritisieren.
Book
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Introduction 1. Materialist Dialects 1.1 Real Abstractions and Mental Generalisations 1.2 Marx, Hegal and 'New Dialects' 1.3 Conclusion 2. Interpretations of Marx's Value Theory 2.1 Embodied Labour Approaches 2.1.1 Traditional Marxism 2.1.2 Sraffian Analyses 2.2 Values from Theories 2.2.1 The Rubin Tradition 2.2.2 The 'New Interpretation' 2.3 Conclusion 3. Value and Capital 3.1 Division of Labour, Exploitation and Value 3.2 Capital 3.3 Conclusion 4. Wages and Exploitation 4.1 Wage Labour and Exploitation 4.2 Value of Labour Power 4.3 Conclusion 5. Values, Prices and Exploitation 5.1 Normalisation of Labour 5.1.1 Labour Intensity and Complexity, Education and Training 5.1.2 Mechanisation, Deskilling and Capitalist Control 5.2 Synchronisation of Labour 5.2.1 Value Transfers 5.2.2 Technical Change, Value and Crisis 5.3 Homogenisation of Labour 5.4 Conclusion 6. Composition of Capital 6.1 Understanding the Composition of Capital 6.2 Production and the Composition of Capital 6.3 Capital Accumulation 6.4 Conclusion 7. Transformation of Values into Prices of Production 7.1 Surplus Value, Profit, and the Composition of Capital 7.2 From Values to Prices of Production 7.3 The Transformation of Input Values 7.4 Conclusion 8. Money, Credit and Inflation 8.1 Labour and Money 8.2 Money and Prices of Production 8.3 Credit, Money and Inflation 8.4 Conclusion Conclusion References
Article
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This article examines the methodological statute of the transformation of values into prices. It resumes the evolution of dialectics, which became method with Plato, assumed the form of a system of necessary demonstrations which stem from the unconditioned principles reached through the synagogue with Aristotle and the logic of the Absolute Spirit with Hegel. Inverting the Hegelian reasoning, Marx conceives dialectics as the logic of objective reality that is reproduced by reason. In The Capital, Marx shows how in the unfolding of the commodity - point of departure of the exposition (Darstellung) of capitalism - it necessarily emerges the transformation process, as the moment of the essence's blossoming (the abstract labor) in the domain of the phenomenon. With the prices of production, the rational explanation of effective reality (Wirklichtkeit) is complete, conceived as emergence of the essence at the level of the phenomenon, encompassing the sphere of accidentality, inescapable in every empiric science.
Article
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Este artigo examina o estatuto metodológico da transformação de valores em preços. Para tanto, resgata a evolução da dialética, que se tornou método com Platão, assumiu a forma de sistema de demonstrações necessárias que partem dos princípios incondicionados alcançados através da synagoge com Aristóteles e de lógica do Espírito Absoluto com Hegel. Invertendo a dialética hegeliana, Marx concebe a dialética como a lógica da realidade objetiva reproduzida pela razão. Em particular, na dialética de O Capital, mostra como, na sequência do desdobramento da mercadoria, ponto de partida da exposição (Darstellung) do capitalismo, a transformação dos valores em preços surge necessariamente como o momento do aparecer da essência do capitalismo (o trabalho abstrato) no âmbito do fenômeno. Com os preços de produção, encerra-se a explicação racional da realidade efetiva (Wirklichtkeit), concebida como emergência da essência ao nível do fenômeno, englobando o âmbito da acidentalidade, inescapável em toda ciência empírica.
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