Marx’s 'General Law of Capitalist Accumulation' and its Contemporary Relevance By Course Institution Date Introduction Karl Marx’s The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation appears in Volume 1 of Capital written in 1867. The general law stipulates that the accumulation of capital creates two polar opposites with the accumulation of wealth at one end and the accumulation of suffering at the other end of the spectrum (Wood, 1993, p…
Marx’s earliest writing reflected a critique of the relationship between civil society and the state and progressively builds up to his dire prediction that capitalism would result in the rise of proletariat/working class and the ultimate reversal of fortunes as expressed in The General Law (Gurley, 1980). Ultimately, Marx’s The General Law predicts that capitalism would grow and expand to a point of self-destruction (Marx & Engels, 2007). The 2008 global financial crisis can therefore be seen as an example of the contemporary relevance of The General Law’s contention that capitalism would eventually dig its own grave by overproduction, greed, exploitation and alienation. This paper examines The General Law and its contemporary relevance. In order to put The General Law in its proper perspective, this paper will first identify and examine Marx’s political ideas culminating in The General Law and identify its contemporary relevance throughout. ...
187). For Marx, as reflected in The General Law and earlier writings, the forces of production, historical materialism and social relations would create conflicts which would lead to destruction rather than reconciliation (Elliot, 1978-78, p. 148). The 25 year old Karl Marx’s response to Hegel’s Der Philosphie des Rechts (Philosophy of Right) provides some insight into how Marx would eventually come to view the destructive forces of capitalism in The General Law. Marx honed in on Hegel’s “political science” (Jackson, 1990, p. 799). In this regard, Hegel defended the state and its constitutional structures claiming that this amalgamation of power was necessary for order in civil society (Depew, 1992, Chapter 2). Marx was quick to point out that the constitution should be nothing more than a reflection of man’s consciousness and this could only be accomplished if man was “the principle of the constitution” (Marx, 1977, p. 20). Marx (1977) also sets the stage for the articulation of his critique of capitalism in The General Law and in general. Marx (1977) criticized Hegel’s reference to the state is far too abstract and that Hegel seems to forget that the state’s activities are carried out by man and reflects man’s own social qualities. According to Easton (1981), Marx was setting up his later argument that the state was nothing more than an instrument of control by the ruling classes. This argument would balloon into the neo-Marxist contention that the state was commandeered by those with “economic leverage” (Nordinger, Lowi, & Fabbrini, 1988, p. 875). The significance of economic gain in the ordering of society is a major theme in The General Law and the idea of economic ...
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