Marx’s Biggest Idea, or Six Features of Capital (On the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Das Kapital)
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150th anniversary of Marx’s Das Kapital calls for yet another contemporary evaluation of Karl Marx’s legacy. The article argues that Marx’s most important and the longest standing contribution into social science is not „historical materialism” nor any particular form of “critical theory” – it is the concept of capital as a specific mode of creating value. The article seeks to extract the six major features of capital as described by Marx and demonstrate their conceptual originality and novelty. It also shows how numerous contemporary social scientist borrow and apply this category to the fields quite remote from Marx’s own research terrain. But the fact of multiplicity of capitals and quite remarkable homologies between them should not lead us to premature conclusion namely that the social world can be adequately represented as a system or hierarchy of capitals.
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