Marx's Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism

Overview

In this provocative and enthusiastically revisionist book, the distinguished economist Meghnad Desai argues that capitalism’s recent efflorescence is something Karl Marx anticipated and indeed would, in a certain sense, have welcomed. Capitalism, as Marx understood it, would only reach its limits when it was no longer capable of progress. Desai argues that globalization, in bringing the possibility of open competition on world markets to ...

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Overview

In this provocative and enthusiastically revisionist book, the distinguished economist Meghnad Desai argues that capitalism’s recent efflorescence is something Karl Marx anticipated and indeed would, in a certain sense, have welcomed. Capitalism, as Marx understood it, would only reach its limits when it was no longer capable of progress. Desai argues that globalization, in bringing the possibility of open competition on world markets to producers in the Third World, has proved that capitalism is still capable of moving forwards.

Marx’s Revenge
opens with a consideration of the ideas of Adam Smith and Hegel. It proceeds to look at the nuances in the work of Marx himself, and concludes with a survey of more recent economists who studied capitalism and attempted to unravel its secrets, including Joseph Schumpeter, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek.

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Editorial Reviews

Raymond Plant
“Meghnad Desai has produced a brilliant reconstruction of the arguments in political economy over the past 25 years in relation to the changes and events in the real world. The book also demonstrates the continuing importance of Marx's ideas for understanding globalization and its possibilities.”
Richard Sennett
Marx's Revenge is a brilliant analysis of global capitalism – a surgical operation rather than an ideological tract. Meghnad Desai is always clear and evocative; his book is not just for economists. A must read!”
Robert Skidelsky
“Meghnad Desai's Marx's Revenge is a cosmic joke with a serious purpose. Marx today would have been an enthusiastic globalizer. Globalization is good, because it brings the end of capitalism nearer. The anti-globalists don't realise that, if successful, they will simply keep capitalism going longer. Brilliant and paradoxical, Desai's book is a constant stimulus to thought.”
From the Publisher
“... anti-globalization activists would do well to check out Marx’s Revenge, which is an economic history aimed at the general reader.”—Irish Times

“A criticism from the Left was that it was over-optimistic to hope for ‘social capitalism’. Well, perhaps. But capitalism is all we’ve got and Meghnad Desai’s book Marx’s Revenge, published by Vero, is brilliantly timed.”—William Keegan, The Observer

“A stimulating, judicious and learned book, at times provocative and merry, but, above all, thoughtful on where the world has come from ... and the errors and breakthroughs of judgement which allow us to treat our economic world with enhanced self-consciousness.”—Development Policy Review

“Marx, if we did but know it, is the prophet and advocate of globalization.”—Will Hutton, Independent Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859844298
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 5/17/2004
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Meghnad Desai was Director at the Centre for Global Governance at the London School of Economics. His previous books include Marxian Economics, Applied Econometrics, and India's Triple Bypass.
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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
1 Two Revolutions and a Demolition 1
2 Adam Smith and the Principles of Social Astronomy 12
3 Hegel and the Ideal State 26
4 Marx I: Clearing the Decks 36
5 Marx II: Profits 54
6 The Future of Capitalism I: How Soon the End? 84
7 War and Revolution 104
8 War and Imperialism (in theory and in practice) 130
9 The Interwar Years: Return to Normality, 1919-29 143
10 The Interwar Years: Crisis and Catastrophe 158
11 Curing Capitalism: Keynes, Schumpeter and Hayek 173
12 Can Socialism Work? 187
13 Foundations of the Global Order 199
14 The Golden Age of National Capitalism 216
15 The High Noon of Socialism 235
16 Things Fall Apart 250
17 Up from the Abyss 269
18 A Bonfire of Illusions 292
19 The Future of Capitalism II: Endgame or the Only Game? 303
Notes 316
Bibliography 343
Index 359
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