In this updated and expanded edition of
Invisible Leviathan, Murray E.G. Smith critically explores and makes significant contributions to the debate surrounding Karl Marx’s ‘capitalist law of value’ and its corollary, the law of the falling rate of profit. A powerful case is presented that capitalism has exhausted its potential to contribute to human progress. Humanity confronts a fateful choice: to allow this obsolescent system – which necessarily measures ‘wealth’ in terms of ‘abstract social labour’ and money profit – to destroy human civilisation; or to make the leap toward a global, egalitarian-socialist society in which the satisfaction of human need is the starting-point and the all-round development of each and every human individual the goal of the socio-economic life process.
First printed in 1994 as
Invisible Leviathan: The Marxist Critique of Market Despotism Beyond Postmodernism by University of Toronto Press. This second and revised edition includes a new Foreword by Michael Roberts, and a Preface to the Second Edition.
The publication last year in New Left Review of Robert Brenner's book-length essay ‘Uneven Development and the Long Downturn: The Advanced Capitalist Economies from Boom to Stagnation, 1950-1998’ has already provoked more discussion and controversy on the socialist Left than any other political-economic analysis in recent memory. Predictably, it has also elicited a number of highly critical response from proponents of Marx's theories of labour value and economic crisis. Amongst other things, Brenner has been charged with a one-sided preoccupation with capital-to-capital (competitive) relations at the expense of the capital-wage labour (class struggle) relation, with misinterpreting and dismissing Marx's law of the falling tendency of the rate of profit, and with ignoring Marx’s value categories entirely.