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Marxist Social Theory

3. Capitalism

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think about Marx’s writings on the emergence of capitalism and its key characteristics. In particular, we focus on: (i) Marx’s account of the collapse of feudalism as a result of the formation of a mercantile class which displaces the aristocracy; (ii) the transition from mercantile capitalism to industrial capitalism; (iii) the emergence of a new form of exploitation under industrial capitalism based on wage labour, and the intensification of this exploitation as technology develops; (iv) Marx’s concept of the proletariat as a working class which is different from those of previous modes of production.

Course

In this course, Dr Ross Abbinnett (University of Birmingham) explores Karl Marx’s theory of society. In the first module, we consider Marx’s analysis of labour, its importance to humanity, and alienation from labour under capitalism. In the second, we look at how Marx approaches history and social change, particularly his base and superstructure model and his notion of modes of production. In the third and fourth modules, we think about Marx’s account of capitalism’s emergence and characteristics, and the political forces which lead society from capitalism to communism. In the final module, we consider efforts to bring communism about in the real world, such as those of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.

Lecturer

Dr Ross Abbinnett is Senior Lecturer in Social and Political Theory at the University of Birmingham. His recent publications include The Neoliberal Imagination: Politics, Aesthetics, and Economics in the Evolution of Hyper-Industrial Capitalism (2021), The Thought of Bernard Stiegler: Capitalism, Technology and the Politics of Spirit (2018) and Marxism After Modernity: Politics, Technology and Social Transformation (2006).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Abbinnett, R. (2021, August 31). Marxist Social Theory - Capitalism [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/marxist-social-theory/capitalism

MLA style

Abbinnett, Ross. "Marxist Social Theory – Capitalism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 Aug 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/marxist-social-theory/capitalism

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