A Companion To Marx's Capital, Volume 2
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The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression shows no sign of coming to a close and Marx’s work remains key in understanding the cycles that lead to recession. For nearly forty years, David Harvey has written and lectured on Capital, becoming one of the world’s most foremost Marx scholars.
Based on his recent lectures, and following the success of his companion to the first volume of Capital, Harvey turns his attention to Volume 2, aiming to bring his depth of learning to a broader audience, guiding first-time readers through a fascinating and hitherto neglected text. Whereas Volume 1 focuses on production, Volume 2 looks at how the circuits of capital, the buying and selling of goods, realize value.
This is a must-read for everyone concerned to acquire a fuller understanding of Marx’s political economy.
system as one of its forms. (C3, 743) The ignoramus in this case, it soon becomes clear, is Proudhon, with his proposal for free credit as the socialist panacea. What Marx seems to be proposing here is that, in the same way that usury played an important precursive if antediluvian role in the rise of capitalism, but had to be revolutionized into the sociality of the money market and the circulation of interest-bearing capital, so the latter is destined to play a precursive role in the
times, while in the worst they are auctioned off at half price. (311–12) In much of the United States, Spain and Ireland, the worst-case scenario unfolded with a vengeance after 2008. Housing speculation in this last instance created an asset bubble that actually sparked the crisis when it burst, whereas Marx here sees the housing crash as resulting from a commercial and financial crisis that had its roots elsewhere. “Large-scale jobs needing particularly long working periods are fully
sufficient cotton or coal on hand for three months, or only for one.” The development of the means of transport here has a crucial role to play. “The speed with which the product of one process can be transferred to another process as a means of production depends on the development of the means of transport and communication. The cheapness of transport here plays a great role in this connection. The constantly repeated transportation of coal, for example, from the mine to the spinning mill will
Acceptance Corporation, which became an independent and autonomous branch of General Motors organizing credit (it eventually qualified as a bank in the crisis of 2008–09). There is still a clear sense in which Marx’s proposition that “production predominates,” and that the activities of the merchants are rendered “subservient” to the requirements of a capitalist mode of production, remains true. Whereas merchant capitalists at one time lived off fraudulent and predatory practices of buying (or
growing control this gives industrialists and merchants over the monetary savings of all classes of society through the mediation of the bankers, as well as the progressive concentration of these savings on a mass scale, so that they can function as money capital.” This “must also press down the rate of interest” (C3, 484). For the first time, Marx here addresses a crucial question: the role of the financial system in assembling the initial capital for circulation (promising, as always, “more on