Neue Marx-Lektüre

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Neue Marx-Lektüre (German for “New Marx Reading″) in its broader meaning refers to the reception of the economic theory of Karl Marx, which started in the mid-1960s in Western and partly Eastern Europe, in distinction from both Marxism-Leninism and Social Democracy. In its specific meaning, Neue Marx-Lektüre refers to a loose group of authors mainly from the German-speaking countries, who go beyond to revise a certain historising and empirical interpretation of Marx' analysis of economic forms which can be traced back to Friedrich Engels.

Overview[edit]

Departing from the early approaches of Evgeny Bronislavovich Pashukanis and Isaak Illich Rubin in the 1920s, the works submitted by Helmut Reichelt and Hans-Georg Backhaus in the seventies and eighties, and the writings of Michael Heinrich in the nineties, were at the turn of the millennium a partly academic, partly off-academic debate concerning the question of how economic value has evolved. These authors, who meanwhile are labeled by the umbrella term Neue Marx-Lektüre distinguish themselves in a variety of aspects from the traditional Marx reading related with both, the workers movement and state socialism.

The Neue Marx-Lektüre rejects

  • premonetary theories of value, according to which already the single concrete work creates value, and the essence of value is a direct outcome of the invested time of labour. On the contrary the social character of work creating value is emphasized.
  • conceptions of the state as a manipulative instrument of a ruling class. On the contrary, the Staatsableitungsdebatte (State derivation debate) has an understanding of the state as a structurally necessary, but relatively separated part of capitalism.
  • theories of history which lead to the anticipation of a revolution to be accomplished by the proletariat. Opposed to this, capital is considered as an "automatic subject," which exists in a sham as well in a real form.

On the other hand, the authors of the Neue Marx-Lektüre in contrast to the academically dominant neo-classic economy maintain the relevance of the approach of Marx. Especially they insist that the micro-economic approaches of the neoclassic theory of economy can't explain the constitution, maintenance and dynamics of the economic value-relations, and only can exhibit insufficient theoretical means when it comes to macro-economic constructs such as e.g. the gross national income. On the contrary, they point out that Marx, although unable to answer these questions, nevertheless provides a higher degree of reflection and awareness for the problems, which has to be recovered in a critical manner for the contemporary discussion.

See also[edit]

Main works[edit]

  • Helmut Reichelt: Zur logischen Struktur des Kapitalbegriffs bei Karl Marx. also: Dissertation from 10 July 1968, Wirtschafts- u. sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurt, 1968, 265 S.; fourth revisited edition, with a preface by Iring Fetscher, Frankfurt a. M.: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1973 (Politische Ökonomie); Freiburg im Breisgau: Ça Ira, 2001, ISBN 3-924627-76-2.
  • Michael Heinrich:Kritik der politischen Ökonomie - Eine Einführung, Schmetterling Verlag, 3rd edition 2005 Die Wissenschaft vom Wert (dissertation) VSA-Verlag, 1991; second, revised edition: Westfälisches Dampfboot, 2003
  • Hans-Georg Backhaus: Dialektik der Wertform. Untersuchungen zur Marxschen Ökonomiekritik, Freiburg i. Br. 1997, ISBN 3-924627-52-5.
  • Helmut Reichelt: Neue Marx-Lektüre. Zur Kritik sozialwissenschaftlicher Logik, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-89965-287-1.

Literature[edit]

English[edit]

German[edit]

External links[edit]