Roy Bhaskar’s Critical Realism and the Social Science of Marxian Economics

  • Richard Westra
  • Review of Radical Political Economics, September 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0486613418787405

Why Marx's economic theory in CAPITAL is a science

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

What is it about?

Marx devoted much of his life to writing his 3 volume CAPITAL. It's subject is the economic study of capitalism and critique of political economy of Marx's day where only partial, one-sided views of capitalism were produced by his contemporaries. Unfortunately, "Marxism" as a body of thought claiming lineage to Marx has largely, with but few exceptions, been construed as a master theory of historical directionality. This article interrogates that hackneyed view from the perspective of modern philosophy of science debate.

Why is it important?

It is important because only on the foundation of Marx's economic theory in CAPITAL can capitalism be completely understood and critiqued and a future, non-capitalist, viable socialist society be envisioned.


Dr Richard Westra
University of Macau

While scholars continue to debate the so-called "enigmas", "emotions", "totalitarian", "authoritarian", "lateness", globalized, neoliberal, and so on bents of capitalism, its fundamental economic logic the knowledge from which the most vital human emancipatory insights spring continues to elude them.

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