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June 14 , 2008

Towards An Unknown Marx

A Commentary on the Manuscripts of 1861-63


This book is the first complete commentary on Marx's manuscripts of 1861-63, works that guide our understanding of fundamental concepts such as 'surplus-value' and 'production price'.

The recent publication of Marx's writings in their entirety has been a seminal event in Marxian scholarship. The hitherto unknown second draft of Volume 1 and first draft of Volume 3 of Capital, both published in the Manuscripts of 1861-63, now provide an important intermediate link between the Grundrisse and the final published editions of Capital. In this book, Enrique Dussel, one of the most original Marxist philosophers in the world today, provides an authoritative and detailed commentary on the manuscripts of 1861-63.

The main points which Dussel emphasises in this path-breaking work are:

  • The fundamental category in Marx's theory is 'living labour' which exists outside of capital and which capital must subsume in order to produce surplus-value
  • Theories of Surplus Value is not a historical survey of previous theories, but rather a 'critical confrontation' through which Marx developed new categories for his own theory
  • The most important new categories developed in this manuscript are related to the 'forms of appearance' of surplus value.

The final part of the book discusses the relevance of the Manuscripts of 1861-63 to contemporary global capitalism, especially to the continuing underdevelopment and extreme poverty of Latin America.

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