Libertarian Marxist Felton C. Shortall's detailed analysis of the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx.
As its title suggests, the present work is concerned with the sense in which the work of Karl Marx can be considered as being incomplete. To do this it first of all seeks to set the development and formation of Marx's work in its historical, intellectual and political contexts so as to show how both the logical and the political imperatives through which it was produced not only limits Marx's theoretical project that led to Capital, but also necessarily points beyond such limitations.
Of course the notion that the work of Marx is in some way incomplete is nothing new. Most critical confrontations with orthodox Marxism are in one way or another based on some notion that traditional Marxism fails to comprehend a fundamental aspect of modern society, and many are as a consequence led to trace such serious omissions back to Marx himself. Furthermore, the response that Marx work points beyond its own limitations -that Capital is not the culmination of Marx theoretical project, as is commonly supposed - is not a new idea either. Indeed, for example, the debate on whether Marx fully abandoned his proposed book on wage labour stretch back to the 1930s, and it is a debate that has been revived more recently by such writers as Lebowitz and Negri as means to overcome the 'objectivist' and 'deterministic 'interpretations of orthodox Marxism.
The principal advance that the present work seeks to make over previous works on this question is to develop and substantiate these contentions that Marx work points beyond itself through a detailed examination of each the three Volumes of Capital. An examination which seeks to show how it was that Capital's logical imperatives necessarily came to impose a provisional closure within this work and thus how Capital must be necessarily seen to point beyond itself.
I readily admit that by setting out extensively the historical and intellectual context of the formation and development of Marx's theoretical project, in what I hope is an open and accessible style, and then by concentrating on a detailed exegesis of the three volumes of Capital, it has meant that I have had little space to draw out the implications of the provisional closure that I have described as being enacted within Marx. As a consequence I have not attempted to address the inadequacies of Marx in terms of his relation to the questions of ecology and the idea of progress, to the issues of feminism and the question of domestic labour, nor the issue of the nature of the relation of capital to the state, and all the other such questions raised by modern radical currents. Nevertheless, I would argue that the present work provides a firm basis on which such questions of the 'inadequacies' of Marx may be addressed and through which the revolutionary project of Karl Marx can be reconstructed in the post-Stalinist and post-Soviet era.
|The Incomplete Marx - Felton C. Shortall||21.1 MB|