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This book offers a complete presentation of the most important themes of Marx’s thought, following the development of Marx’s theory from the beginning to his death and offering a reconstruction and analysis that covers the whole of Marx’s life and works. Each chapter presents one of the central topics of Marx’s reflection: the confrontation with the Hegelian theory of the State (1843); the critique of political liberalism in the “On the Jewish Question”; the discovery of Political Economy in the Manuscripts of 1844; the new theory of history developed in The German Ideology; the political theory and the revolution of 1848; the critique of political economy from the Grundrisse to Capital; and the political thought of the last Marx (the Paris Commune and the critique of the German Social Democratic Party).Stefano Petrucciani is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. The Education of a Young Hegelian

Abstract
This chapter analyzes the development of Karl Marx’s thought from the dissertation on The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature (1841) up to the Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law (1843). This period is characterized by two fundamental changes in Marx’s worldview: from Hegelianism to a Feuerbachian critique of Hegel and from liberalism to a radical democratic point of view, which presupposes the overcoming of the Hegelian separation between civil society and the State.
Stefano Petrucciani

Chapter 2. The Critique of Liberalism

Abstract
This chapter analyzes the first original elaboration of Marx’s political philosophy, expounded in the Jewish Question and in the writings of the same period. One of the main themes of this phase of the Marxian thought is the critique of the “Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen”; according to him, the Declaration only expresses the principles of bourgeois emancipation, which have little to do with the real human emancipation that is the aim of Marx’s politics.
Stefano Petrucciani

Chapter 3. The Discovery of Economics

Abstract
This chapter analyzes the first encounter of Marx with political economy, whose main outcomes are the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 and the comments to the political economy of James Mill. In these writings, Marx develops the fundamental concept of alienated labor and investigates the real meaning of the Hegelian dialectic, which represents a way of understanding human history as a dialectical process of alienation and re-appropriation. The chapter also analyzes The Holy Family, written together with Friedrich Engels, in which Marx outlines his sharp critique of the Hegelian Left.
Stefano Petrucciani

Chapter 4. A New Conception of History

Abstract
This chapter outlines a critical reconstruction of Karl Marx’s theory of history, which is developed mainly in The German Ideology and in the Preface of 1859 to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Historical materialism is presented in this chapter as a fundamental revolution in the way of thinking history, but also as a theory characterized by some unsolved problems, as, for example, the one regarding the exact meaning of the “determination” that the economic structure exerts over the ideological superstructure and the difficult relation between truth and history.
Stefano Petrucciani

Chapter 5. A Time for Revolution: Marx and 1848

Abstract
This chapter analyzes the most important aspects of Marx’s thought and political activism between 1847 and 1852: the critique of Proudhon’s theory of exploitation in The Poverty of Philosophy, the delineation of the revolutionary strategy in the Manifesto of the Communist Party, his political journalism during the European Revolution of 1848 and the reflection on the defeat of the revolution developed in The Class Struggles in France from 1848 to 1850 and in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.
Stefano Petrucciani

Chapter 6. The Critique of Political Economy

Abstract
This chapter is devoted to a critical reconstruction of Karl Marx’s critique of political economy, from the Economic Manuscripts of 18571858 (Grundrisse) up to the Capital (1867). Firstly, the chapter follows the Marxian dialectical development of the main categories of political economy: commodity, money, capital, labor force, surplus value, exploitation, and accumulation. Secondly, the chapter outlines a critical analysis of some problems related to the Marxian theory of value and surplus value and to the much discussed question of the relation between values and prices.
Stefano Petrucciani

Chapter 7. The International, the Paris Commune, Social Democracy

Abstract
This chapter analyzes some important political moments of the last part of Marx’s life: the confrontation with Bakunin and the anarchists in the First International Association of Workers; the writings concerning the Paris Commune of 1871; the Critique of the Gotha Program (1875) and Marx’s difficult relation with the first modern socialist party, the German Social Democratic Party; his polemic against the Lassallian and reformist tendencies in the worker’s movement and his delineation of the main characteristics of the first and the second phase of the future communist society.
Stefano Petrucciani

Backmatter

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