ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Marx's Critique of Political Economy

An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital by Michael Heinrich (translated by Alexander Locascio), New Delhi: Aakar Books for South Asia, 2013; pp 240, Rs 295, paperback.

The global economic crisis triggered by the United States financial crisis of 2007 has revived political movements critical of aspects of the capitalist system like income and wealth inequality, unjust burdens of housing and student debt, racial oppression and discrimination of immigrants, unequal trade and investment treaties, and policies of economic austerity. Parallel to the revival of such political movements has been a growing interest—among activists, scholars and the general public—in currents of critical social and political thought that can make sense of such issues and offer alternatives to the unjust and exploitative capitalist–imperialist system.

In this context the publication of an English translation of Michael Heinrich’s An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital—the original book by Heinrich is written in German and has been translated into English by Alexander Locascio—in 2012 by the Monthly Review Press becomes an important event. There are at least two reasons for that. First, Marxism, and in particular the work of Marx, offers the most systematic understanding and critique of capitalism. It can potentially provide an overarching framework for understanding, and linking, the various issue-based movements that have emerged in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis. A thorough and lucid introduction to Marx’s work on political economy can be a valuable resource for political activists in the current conjuncture.

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