2018 (15), №1

Karl Marx: The Frame and Scope of the Class and Reproduction Approaches

For citation: 

Dyatel E. P.(2018). Karl Marx: The Frame and Scope of the Class and Reproduction Approaches. Zhurnal Economicheskoj Teorii [Russian Journal of Economic Theory], 15(1), 107-119


The article is devoted to the 150th anniversary of the publication of the 1st volume of «Capital» of Karl Marx. The author considers the methodology and basic theoretical principles of this book. The article shows the possibility to construct a self-consistent system of economic categories based on the idea of the ascent from the abstract to the concrete. The author compares two ways to define a measure of value: one is based on the “general use-value” of money and the other one — on simple average labour. These material objects are the medium of economic information about the organization of social production and exchange. The author raises the question about the methodological boundaries (verification and falsification) of the basic foundations of Marxian economics: labour power as a commodity; constant and variable capital; organic composition of capital; simple and expanded reproduction of the social capital. It has been confirmed that these foundations are applicable solely within the framework of pure capitalism postulates and proportions of social production defined a priori. The author substantiates the necessity for an alternative explanation of economic life, which will take into account the following considerations: moving to a postindustrial society (service society); rejecting a predominantly resource (cost) approach. Moreover, we need the transition to the capitalization of economic assets as elements of commodity wealth, which generate additional income as a result of their alternative. A consumer, a producer and an owner of the workforce may try these alternatives. The author considers the following approaches to be promising directions for further research: neo- institutional approach; infra-marginal economic theory on the analysis of the division of labour as a key factor of economic life; neo-industrial revolution concept, including the neo-industrial theory of self-servicing.

Evgeny P. Dyatel — Doctor of Economics, Professor, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin; Ural State University of Economics (Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation; e-mail: dyatel1942@mail.ru).