The aim of this paper is to evidence some crucial features of structural change in Marx’s Capital that are framed in an evolutionary perspective. The acknowledgement of evolutionary aspects of Marx’s analysis of competition and technical change is an established fact in the literature, however, something more can be said about Marx’s identification of the drivers of the structural change of the capitalistic system and its evolution and ultimately its demise. According to Marx, in the process of capital accumulation the modes of production evolve, from a less adequate to a more adequate in the vital performance of the valorisation of capital, thanks to the change in the functions of labour-power, occurring by means of an ever-increasing division of labour, supported by technical progress. The abasement of labour to simple labour, i.e. labour alienation, related to the process of ever-narrowing the tasks that each labourer is required to perform, is the force driving the evolution of capitalism. Also Marx’s idea that the growth in capital dimensions is an immanent law of the capitalistic mode of production is akin to the observed evolutionary trend. And a biological analogy can be proposed between the necessity of an increase in the capital dimensions, as stated by Marx, and a certain degree of “ineluctability” present in the process of phyologenesis which shows an increasing complexity and where, as complexity increases, the set of possible genetic mutations shrinks. Marx’s precognition of the transformation of the capitalistic society into a socialist one is the result of an evolutionary reasoning where, however, Marx introduces a strong political element. The work develops the above reasoning as follows: the first section refers to the secondary literature on Marx, and presents the evolutionary traits of his analysis that make him an acknowledged predecessor of the evolutionary approach; the second section presents the evolutionary traits of Marx’s treatment of structural change in Capital; the third section deals with the possible evolutionary interpretation of Marx’s forecast end of capitalism. The forth section proposes some conclusions.

Some Aspects of Structural Change in Marx's Analysis

GIAMMANCO, Maria Daniela
2006

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to evidence some crucial features of structural change in Marx’s Capital that are framed in an evolutionary perspective. The acknowledgement of evolutionary aspects of Marx’s analysis of competition and technical change is an established fact in the literature, however, something more can be said about Marx’s identification of the drivers of the structural change of the capitalistic system and its evolution and ultimately its demise. According to Marx, in the process of capital accumulation the modes of production evolve, from a less adequate to a more adequate in the vital performance of the valorisation of capital, thanks to the change in the functions of labour-power, occurring by means of an ever-increasing division of labour, supported by technical progress. The abasement of labour to simple labour, i.e. labour alienation, related to the process of ever-narrowing the tasks that each labourer is required to perform, is the force driving the evolution of capitalism. Also Marx’s idea that the growth in capital dimensions is an immanent law of the capitalistic mode of production is akin to the observed evolutionary trend. And a biological analogy can be proposed between the necessity of an increase in the capital dimensions, as stated by Marx, and a certain degree of “ineluctability” present in the process of phyologenesis which shows an increasing complexity and where, as complexity increases, the set of possible genetic mutations shrinks. Marx’s precognition of the transformation of the capitalistic society into a socialist one is the result of an evolutionary reasoning where, however, Marx introduces a strong political element. The work develops the above reasoning as follows: the first section refers to the secondary literature on Marx, and presents the evolutionary traits of his analysis that make him an acknowledged predecessor of the evolutionary approach; the second section presents the evolutionary traits of Marx’s treatment of structural change in Capital; the third section deals with the possible evolutionary interpretation of Marx’s forecast end of capitalism. The forth section proposes some conclusions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/59692
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