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Marx's analytical procedures

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces Marx's central analytical procedures including the logic and order of investigation, methods of abstraction within structural and historical analysis, the use of certain positivist methods, and the presentation of results. For Marx's ontology, all objects of social science have historical features internal to their essence; they are an integral part of each other and must be conceptualized as such. Marx's political economy uses capitalism's essential structure to account for a range of regular phenomena, such as the concentration of wealth, economic cycles, and crises. Capitalism, in many ways, works by a ledger sheet of wages, prices, and profits. Marx sees capitalism as a "mode of production whose inherent laws impose themselves only as the means of apparently lawless irregularities that compensate one another". Marx's presentation in political economy is a systematic attempt to reveal the social complexity of the sway of capital.

Keywords: analytical procedures; capitalism; Marx; political economy

10.1163/ej.9789004158603.i-329.21
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