Capital (It Fails Us Now)

Introduction to a Mini-symposium on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century

In: Historical Materialism
Alberto Toscano Goldsmiths, University of London

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This introduction to Historical Materialism’s mini-symposium on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century places the three contributions by Husson, Mann and Roberts in the context of an exploration of the link between methodology and politics in Piketty’s economic history of inequality. Touching on the role of time and literature in Piketty’s argument, as well as on his difficulty in accounting for the relations of capital – especially ones originating in colonialism and empire – it approaches Piketty’s book, and its success, in terms of its concerted effort to produce a cognitive mapping of contemporary capitalism that can serve as a prelude to its democratic reform.

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