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Marx's InfernoThe Political Theory of Capital$
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William Clare Roberts

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691180816

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691180816.001.0001

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Styx: The Anarchy of the Market

Styx: The Anarchy of the Market

Chapter:
(p.56) Chapter 3 Styx: The Anarchy of the Market
Source:
Marx's Inferno
Author(s):

William Clare Roberts

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691180816.003.0003

This chapter examines part one of Capital, where Karl Marx views capitalism as a market society. It considers the moralizing discourse to which socialism was heir, according to which the market is a sphere of akrasia—incontinence, weakness, lack of self-mastery or self-control—and anarchy, drawing attention to two sets of intellectual influences. First, there is the moral criticism of the incontinence and slavishness of those who frequent the market. Second, there are the early socialist writers who rallied around the figure of Robert Owen. The chapter also discusses the continuity between Owenism and republicanism, the mystery of money and the fetishism of gold, and Marx's contributions to the socialist discourse about the market. Finally, it analyzes Marx's critique of the role played by the labor theory of value in Owenism and Proudhon.

Keywords:   capitalism, Capital, Karl Marx, market society, akrasia, socialism, anarchy, Owenism, republicanism, money

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