The Meaning of Marxism – Gopal Balakrishnan interview

April 9, 2016

“My version of an early and a late Marx can be traced to the account that Robert Brenner presents of two stories of the origins of capitalism in Marx. There’s an earlier account in which bourgeois society arose out of the spread of commerce from its modest medieval beginnings. In his later work Marx develops another conception – that of the agrarian origins of capitalism unfolding through structural changes in the English countryside, involving the separation of direct producers from their means of subsistence. That separation from subsistence launches a pattern of socio-economic development that distinguishes England from the larger persistence of the socio-economic old regime on the continent. I expand that distinction between Marx’s earlier and later conception of a transition out of feudalism – two different accounts of primitive accumulation – to two different conceptions of the nature of capital, and their respective laws of accumulation. While the early Marx’s “grave digging” conception had a determinate political corollary, no corresponding theorization of the political arose from Marx’s later conception.”

 

Full interview here.

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