This book is a masterpiece of critical theory. It provides an illuminating and original meta-theoretical account of Marx’s general views of critical economic theory. Sympathetic to the general aims of Marx, it also excavates the internal contradictions of the Marxian theory with unparalleled care. Written in Hungarian in the early 1970s, it was censored by the communist authorities immediately after its completion. Its belated publication in English signifies a major boon for research scholars in a range of disciplines, including philosophy, political economy, Marxism, intellectual history, and Eastern European studies.
György Márkus (1934–2016) taught at the Budapest University of Sciences between 1957 and 1965. He was a research scholar at the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Science from 1958 until 1973, when he was expelled for co-authoring this book. He left Hungary in 1977 and settled in Sydney, Australia, where he taught history of philosophy, Marxism, and Aesthetics. His book Culture, Science, Society was published in 2011 by Brill.
János Kis (born 1943) worked as a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Science from 1967 until 1973, when he was expelled for co-authoring this book. As a leader of the Hungarian dissident movement, he participated in the 1989 Roundtable negotiations that prepared the ground for democratic transition. He taught political philosophy at Central European University from 1992 onwards. His book Politics as a Moral Problem was published in 2008 by CEU Press.
György Bence (1941–2006) was a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Science from 1966 until 1973, when he was expelled for co-authoring this book. In the 1970s, he was a leading member of the Hungarian dissident movement. From 1989 until his death, he worked as a professor of philosophy at the Budapest University of Science (ELTE), where he taught history of philosophy and political theory.
John Grumley (editor) is an Honorary Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Sydney University. He has published two monographs, more than fifty single-authored papers and five edited and co-edited books and journal issues with Pauline Johnson and Harriet Johnson. He also co-edits the Márkus Archive with Harriet Johnson.
Foreword John Grumley
Preface János Kis
1Introduction: Marxist Economics Divided
2The Antinomies of the Concept of Use-Value
3Socialism in the World History of Economic Formations
4Difficulties with the Idea of a Centralized Labour-Time Economy
5Scarcity and Abundance
6Is Critical Economic Theory Possible at All?
7The Problem of Radical Needs
8Is It Possible to Realise the “Association of Free Producers”?
Appendices Appendix (A) The Place of Critical Economic Theory in the Development of Marx’s Thought
Appendix (B) Historical Types of the Bourgeois Critique of Marxian Economic Theory
Researchers and post-graduate students in philosophy, Marxism studies, critical theory, political economy, Eastern European studies, scholars with Marxist or more generally Socialist commitments.