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Palgrave Macmillan

Class, Surplus, and the Division of Labour

A Post-Marxian Exploration

ISBN 9781137287724
Publication Date May 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Marx expected the working class to create 'a movement of immense majority, in the interests of immense majority'. However, there is not and never has been such a movement. At least a part of the reason is that the traditional Marxist picture of a two-class polarisation bears little resemblance to the diverse and complex society of today's Western world. In this book, Michal Polak attempts to move beyond the austerity of the two-class model to come closer to the empirical realities. In the process, the author re-examines the very foundations of the Marxist theory, demonstrating how an important critique of the theory can in fact be fruitfully interpreted as a generalisation of it. While remaining true to the Marxian spirit, he comes up with original and innovative extensions of the traditional concepts, which finally allow for the explanation of the diverse class map of the advance capitalist societies.

Michal Polák (PhD Philosophy, LSE) splits his time between Slovakia and the UK, and his writings on politics between academia and journalism. In 2012, a collection of his articles Head Against the Wind was published in his original home country, where he currently works as an advisor at the Finance Ministry.

Introduction: The Legacy and The Crisis
PART I: ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS
1. It's Not What You Have, It's What You Do: The Return of the Division-of-Labour View of Class
2. Exploitation Is Not a Game: A Critique of John Roemer
PART II: RECONSTRUCTING THE FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS
3. Back to Basics: Reproduction, Subsistence, Exploitation, Class
PART III: A DUAL THEORY OF EXPLOITATION AND PRICE
4. If Profit is the Answer, What Should Be the Question? Income from Capital and the Labour Theory of Value
5. What Price Value? Beyond the Transformation Problem and the Sraffian Critique
Appendix to Chapter 5
PART IV: INTEGRATING THE TWO CONCEPTS OF CLASS
6. A Beast of Many Faces: Complex Exploitation, the Sphere of Necessity and the Sphere of Freedom

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