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Analytical marxism and the marxian theory of crisis

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Chapter Summary

A new phenomenon, a self-designated school of analytical Marxism, centred in particular around the work of John Roemer, Jon Elster and G.A. Cohen. Analytical Marxism begins with the unsupported premise of methodological individualism. In Marxs methodological holism, investigation of structural limits to individual actions is precisely the result of considering the whole first. This chapter briefly discusses Marx's possibility theory of crisis. Marx has noted that, there would be no crisis without the inner unity of factors that are apparently indifferent to each other. The chapter demonstrates the importance of considering the whole explicitly, and conducts a holistic thought-experiment which represents capitalism as a relationship between one capitalist and his wage-labourers. In the rgime of One Capital, it is assumed that, in order to secure a given increase in surplus-value, the rational capitalist initiates a given increase in the technical composition of capital.

Keywords: analytical Marxism; capitalism; G.A. Cohen; holistic thought-experiment; John Roemer; Jon Elster; Marxian theory of crisis; methodological individualism; régime of One Capital



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