You are hereBack to top
An Introduction to Marxism: Class Three: Marxism and Economics
With a focus on the fundamentals of Marxism and its relevance to understanding and action, this course of four classes will cover an introduction to Marxist theory, applying it to a discussion of relevant issues today, such as: the changing nature of work and exploitation, austerity and the gig economy, racism, women’s oppression, class society, revolution and climate change.
Mary Davis and Richard Clarke
Course reading: There is no single set text, but you should you should try to look at relevant features published as part of the Morning Star’s fortnightly ‘Full Marx’ series which can also be found on the Marx Memorial Library’s website. Some of these were collectively edited prior to publication by participants on last year’s course.
For further reading: you should start with Marx 200 - The Significance of Marxism in the 21st Century - a report of a major international conference organised by the Marx Memorial Library to mark the bicentenary of Marx’s birth. And the on-line Marxist Internet Archive provides a gateway to a rich variety of original and contemporary texts.
Class Three: Marxism and economics
A Marxist understanding of value, price and profit explains the dynamics of capital and class, the irreconcilability of class interests and the role of the State in legitimising capitalism. It also explains the nature of commodity production, the changing nature of exploitation of people as workers and consumers, the role of economic crises and why workers appear to ‘consent’ to their exploitation.
Reading: What is ‘surplus value’? Does capitalism depend on credit? Is there such a thing as ‘fair pay’? Why do people like shopping? What is ‘class struggle’? What’s the difference between Marxist and ‘orthodox’ economics?