This book provides a systematic outline of the constellation and functioning of the capitalist system. It is an exposition of the relations, institutions and processes that are necessary for the continued existence of the capitalist system – that is, the capitalist economy as interconnected with the capitalist state.
In its systematic character, the book is inspired by Marx’s incomplete synthetic outline of the capitalist system in his Capital – incomplete because that work did not reach the capitalist state. The latter is dealt with in Part Two of the current book. Part One, on the capitalist economy, is the result of a critical appraisal of current orthodox and heterodox economics, and of the systematic problems and gaps of Capital – the latter especially in hindsight of the development of the contemporary monetary and financial institutions.
Without underestimating the merits of analyses of partial components of the capitalist system (such as those regarding the labour market, infrastructure or monetary policy), the writing of this book derives from the insight that comprehension of the capitalist system is (also) gained from a full synthetic outline of the system by interconnecting all of its main components. Such a synthetic approach also sheds light on the components that are often obscured by a partial analysis.
The book is addressed to scholars who share this insight, or are at least curious about it. More specifically, it is written for scholars and advanced students in the social sciences (political economy, economics, political science, social geography, sociology, and the philosophy of these sciences).