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Which Capital, Which Marx? Basic Income between Mainstream Economics, Critical Theory, and the Logic of Capital

Dahms Harry F. ()
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Dahms Harry F.: Department of Sociology,University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Basic Income Studies, 2015, vol. 10, issue 1, 115-140

Abstract: Piketty (2014) combines neoclassical economic theory and Keynesianism with an appreciation of how economic patterns and processes are tied to concrete socio-historical circumstances, and exemplifies how economists should compute in their models the socio-cultural costs accompanying economic growth and development. Piketty’s concern with trends in economic inequality, returns from capital, and economic growth, addresses issues is also consistent with Marx’s critique of political economy. While Piketty deems Marx’s theory overly simplistic, Piketty’s contention that modern democratic nation-states should confront the problem of increasing economic inequality exaggerates governments’ ability to regulate the economy today. Basic income is indicative both of the diminished capacity of states to promote social welfare via established policy strategies, and the heightened need to scrutinize the specific logic of capital in the twenty-first century. Recent reinterpretations of Marx affirm the need to resist orthodox, dogmatic and non-critical readings of his analysis of the inner workings of capitalism, and are consonant with the idea of basic income.

Date: 2015
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