Political Economy, not Economics




Date
Title
Author
Opening

Political Economy, Marx and Engels, 2004, 2pp
Dominic Tweedie
1

Class Struggle Simplified, 2003, 1pp
Dominic Tweedie
2

Marxist Economic Theory, 1962, 4pp
Ernest Mandel
3

Beyond Capitalism, 1995, 6pp
Meszaros
4

Overviews of Schools of Thought, 2004, 1pp
Wikipedia
5

3 Sources and Component Parts of Marxism, 1913, 4pp
V. I. Lenin
6

Intro, Contribution, Critique of Political Economy, 1857, 16pp
Karl Marx
7

Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 1 parts 1, 2 and 4, 1867, 12pp
Karl Marx
8

Pacifism and Violence, 1938, 11pp
Caudwell
9

Analysis of Situations, Relations of Force, 1933, 6pp
Gramsci
10

Negotiation, 2004, 8pp
MIA
11

What is to be Done, 1902, 11pp
V.I. Lenin
12

Value, Price and Profit, 1865, parts 6 to 10, 8pp
Karl Marx
13

Chinese Revolution and Chinese Party, 1939, 12pp
Mao Zedong
14

All cultures are not equal, 2002, 4pp
Kenan Malik
15

Marx's Economic Doctrine, 1914, 8pp
V. I. Lenin
16

Origin of Family, Private Property, and State, 1884, Ch. 9, 12pp
Frederick Engels
17

Planet of Slums, 2004, 15pp
Mike Davis
18

The State-Market Debate, 2004, 2pp
David Moore
19

The ACP and the Economics of Development, 2004, 4pp
ANC Today
20

Hong Kong WTO Conference, December 2005, 2pp
Zwelinzima Vavi
21


Openers should be on time to open the discussion for 10-15 minutes, reviewing the work and bringing out suitable talking points. The chairperson will encourage dialogue involving all participants. Please volunteer to open a discussion – all it requires is that you read the work and give your own brief account of it.

“Political Economy” is not “Economics”

“Political Economy” is not “Economics”. Political Economy is that branch of science which describes the arrangement of class forces within a human society at a given point in time, the changes in those arrangements that happen over time, and the causes of such changes.

Surplus Value

Marxist Political Economy recognises the antagonistic nature of the relationship between classes. In the case of the currently dominant class of capitalists (bourgeoisie), Marxism describes the exploitative relationship of this class with the working proletarian class. The relationship is defined by the fact that all value is produced by labour, and capital in particular is produced and maintained by the continuous expropriation of surplus value from workers at the point of production.

Reactionary and Revolutionary Theory

Immediately following the publication of Marx’s “Capital”, in 1867, bourgeois political economists, who had hitherto been content to accept the labour theory of value, turned round and invented an imaginary source of value called “marginal utility”. At this moment in history the bourgeoisie created “Economics” and “Economists” as we know them today. Their ideas are disconnected from material reality and do not amount to a concrete and rational system of thought. That is why bourgeois economics is so difficult to understand – because it does not make sense. It is there to rationalise behaviour which would otherwise have to be considered criminal and inhuman, and therefore deserving of violent revolutionary overthrow.

Imperialism

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, a change has occurred in the international political economy. Capitalist Imperialism, the age of dominant monopoly finance capital, penetrates across borders and interferes with the sovereignty and the political economy of independent countries. Therefore an understanding of Imperialism has become a necessary part of the study of Political Economy in general.