Marxist Economic Theory

Mandel, Ernest
Publisher:  Merlin Press, London, United Kingdom
Year Published:  1971   First Published:  1962
Pages:  797pp  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX7512

Marxist Economic Theory is a major intellectual project which adapts Marx's analysis of capitalism to the world of the late 20th century. Mandel examines post-war upheavals in the development of imperialism, monopoly capitalism and the structure of the state-controlled economies.

Abstract: 
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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

Paradox of Marxism today
Responsibility of the Marxists
Economic theory and empirical facts
Economic theory and economic history
Method
The value and power of attraction of Marxism
Living Marxism: a promise


CHAPTER ONE : LABOUR, NECESSARY PRODUCT, SURPLUS PRODUCT

Labour, society, communication, language, consciousness,
Humanity
Necessary product
Beginning of the social division of labour
First appearance of a social surplus product
The neolithic revolution
Co-operative organisation of labour
Primitive occupation of the soil
The cultivation of irrigated land, cradle of civilisation
The metallurgical revolution
Production and accumulation
Is there an "economic surplus"?


CHAPTER TWO: EXCHANGE, COMMODITY, VALUE

Simple exchange
Silent barter and ceremonial gifts
Developed
Trade
Production for use and production of commodities
Co-operatively organised society and society based on economy
Of labour-time
Exchange-value of commodities
Petty commodity production
Law of value in petty commodity production


CHAPTER THREE: MONEY, CAPITAL, SURPLUS-VALUE

Need for universal equivalent
Evolution of the universal equivalent
Money
Evolution of social wealth and different functions of money
Circulation of commodities and circulation of money
Surplus-value emerging from the circulation of commodities
Surplus-value arising from commodity production
Capital, surplus-value and social surplus product
Law of uneven development


CHAPTER FOUR: THE DEVELOPMENT OF CAPITAL

Forms of agricultural surplus product
Accumulation of use-values and accumulation of surplus-value
Usurer's capital
Merchant capital
The commercial revolution
Domestic industry
Manufacturing capital
Creation of the modern proletariat
The Industrial Revolution
Special features of capitalist development in Western Europe
Capital and the capitalist mode of production


CHAPTER FIVE: THE CONTRADICTIONS OF CAPITALISM

Capital thirsting for surplus-value
The lengthening of the working day
Growth in the productivity and intensity of labour
Human labour-power and machine production
Forms and evolution of wages
Additional note on the theory of absolute impoverishment
Dual function of labour-power
Equalisation of he rate of profit in pre-capitalist society
Equalisation of the rate of profit in the capitalist mode of production
Price of production and value of commodities
Centralisation and concentration of capital
Tendency of the average rate of profit to fall
Supreme contradiction of the capitalist system
Free labour and alienated labour
Class struggle


CHAPTER SIX: TRADE

Trade, outcome of uneven economic development
Production and realisation of surplus-value
Annual amount of surplus-value and annual rate of profit
Commercial capital and commercial profit
Commercial capital and labour-power engaged in distribution
The concentration of commercial capital
Capital invested in transport
International trade
Costs of distribution
The Tertiary Sector


CHAPTER SEVEN: CREDIT

Mutual aid and credit
Origin of banking
Credit in pre-capitalist society
Supply and demand of money capital in the epoch of commercial capital
Supply and demand of money capital in the epoch of industrial capitalism
Interest and rate of interest
Circulation credit
Investment credit and the finance market
The Stock Exchange
Joint-stock companies and the evolution of capitalism
Consumer's credit
Credit and the contradictions of capitalism


CHAPTER EIGHT: MONEY

The two functions of money
Value of metallic money and price movements
Circulation of metallic money
Origins of private fiduciary currency
Origins of public private fiduciary currency
Creation of public fiduciary currency: First source: discounting
Creation of public fiduciary currency: Second source: advances on current account (overdrafts)
Creation of public fiduciary currency : Third source: public expenditure
Socially-necessary stock of currency
Circulation of inconvertible paper money
Balance of payments
Central banks and bank credit
Three forms of inflation
Purchasing power, circulation currency and rate of interest



CHAPTER NINE: AGRICULTURE

Agriculture and commodity production
Pre-capitalist rent and capitalist ground-rent
Origins of capitalist ground-rent
Differential ground-rent
Absolute ground-rent
Ground-rent and the capitalist mode of production
Price of land and evolution of ground-rent
Landed property and the capitalist mode of production
Production-relations and property-relations in the countryside
Concentration and centralisation of capital in agriculture
The wretched lot of the agricultural worker
From the theories of Malthus to agricultural Malthusianism
Ground-rent and the marginal theory of value



CHAPTER TEN: REPRODUCTION AND GROWTH OF THE NATIONAL INCOME

New value, new income and transferred income
The State, surplus-value and social income
The sharing-out of surplus-value
Social product and social income
Distribution of incomes and realisation of commodities
Production and reproduction
Simple reproduction
Expanded reproduction
Expanded reproduction and the law of development of capitalism
Expanded reproduction, economic growth and social accounting
Contracted reproduction
War economy
Redistribution of national income by the state


CHAPTER ELEVEN: PERIODICAL CRISES

Pre-capitalist and capitalist crises
General possibility of capitalist crisis
Law of markets
Cyclical progress of capitalist economy
Internal logic of the capitalist cycle
Extension of the basis of capitalist production
Under-consumption theories
Critique of "under-consumption" models
Theories of disproportionality
Outline of a synthesis
Conditions of capitalist expansion
No growth without fluctuations?



CHAPTER TWELVE: MONOPOLY CAPITALISM

The second industrial revolution
Industrial concentration accentuated
Monopoly agreements, groupings and combines
The forms of capitalist concentration
Bank concentration and finance capital
Monopolies
The empires of financial groups
Monopoly super-profits
Equalisation of the monopoly rate of profit
Origins of monopoly profit
Monopolies as fetters on economic progress
Monopolies and "oligopolies"
Monopoly capitalism and contradictions of capitalism



CHAPTER THIRTEEN: IMPERIALISM

Capitalism and inequality among nations
The world market and industrial capitalism
From export of goods to export of capital
Colonialism
Colonial super-profits
The world-wide division of labour
International trusts and cartels
Private trusts wield sovereign rights in under-developed countries
Economic structure of the under-developed countries
Imperialism as an obstacle to the industrialisation of under-developed countries
Neo-imperialism



CHAPTER FOURTEEN: THE EPOCH OF CAPITALIST DECLINE

Concentration and centralisation of capital on an international scale
Relative shrinkage and fragmentation of the world market
All-round cartellisation of industry
Forced cartellisation
The bourgeoisie and the state
The state as guarantor of monopoly profits
Increasing fusion between state and monopolies
Self-financing
Overcapitalisation
Growing importance of armaments and war economy
Permanent tendency to currency inflation
A crisis-free capitalism?
The law of development of capitalism in its age of decline
Welfare State and Fascism
The age of the managers?
The bankruptcy of capitalism


CHAPTER FIFTEEN: THE SOVIET ECONOMY

Stages of the soviet economy
What the Five-Year Plans achieved
The social character of the soviet economy
The "economic categories" in the U.S.S.R.
The fundamental contradictions of soviet economy
Disproportion between industry and agriculture
Planned economy and the material incentive of personal interest
The contradictions of bureaucratic management
Bureaucratic management and worker' conditions


CHAPTER SIXTEEN: THE ECONOMY OF THE TRANSITION PERIOD

The third industrial revolution
Need for a transition period
Sources of international socialist accumulation
Sources of socialist accumulation in industrialised countries
Sources of socialist accumulation in under-developed countries
Maximum and optimum rates of accumulation
Note on the "law of priority in the development of the capital goods sector"
Economic function of socialist democracy
Planned economy and market economy
Planning techniques
New production relation and socialised mode of production
Agriculture and distribution in the transition period
A mixed economy?



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: SOCIALIST ECONOMY

Mode of production, mode of distribution, mode of life
Individual wages and social wages
Basic needs and secondary needs : freedom of consumption and rational consumption
Withering away of commodity production and money economy
Economic revolution and psychological revolution
Withering away of classes and the state
Economic growth not a permanent aim
Alienated labour and free labour
Man's limitations?



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: ORIGIN, RISE AND WITHERING AWAY OF POLITICAL ECONOMY

Economic activity and ideology
The dawn of economic thought
Origins of the labour theory of value
Development of the labour theory of value
Climax and break-up of classical political economy
Marx's contribution
Attacks on the labour theory of value
The marginalist theory of value and neo-classical political economy
The "Keynesian revolution"
The econometrists
An apologetic variant of Marxism
New developments in economic thinking in the U.R.S.S.
The end of political economy

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

Subject Headings

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