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Which Capital, Which Marx? Basic Income between Mainstream Economics, Critical Theory, and the Logic of Capital


  • Dahms Harry F.

    () (Department of Sociology,University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)


Piketty (2014) combines neoclassical economic theory and Keynesianism with an appreciation of how economic patterns and processes are tied to concrete socio-historical circumstances, and exemplifies how economists should compute in their models the socio-cultural costs accompanying economic growth and development. Piketty’s concern with trends in economic inequality, returns from capital, and economic growth, addresses issues is also consistent with Marx’s critique of political economy. While Piketty deems Marx’s theory overly simplistic, Piketty’s contention that modern democratic nation-states should confront the problem of increasing economic inequality exaggerates governments’ ability to regulate the economy today. Basic income is indicative both of the diminished capacity of states to promote social welfare via established policy strategies, and the heightened need to scrutinize the specific logic of capital in the twenty-first century. Recent reinterpretations of Marx affirm the need to resist orthodox, dogmatic and non-critical readings of his analysis of the inner workings of capitalism, and are consonant with the idea of basic income.

Suggested Citation

  • Dahms Harry F., 2015. "Which Capital, Which Marx? Basic Income between Mainstream Economics, Critical Theory, and the Logic of Capital," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 115-140, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bistud:v:10:y:2015:i:1:p:115-140:n:8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Karl Widerquist, 1999. "New Perspectives on the Guaranteed Income," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_289, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Michael Howard, 2005. "Basic income, liberal neutrality, socialism, and work," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(4), pages 613-631.
    3. M. Fourcade & E. Ollion & Y. Algan., 2015. "The Superiority of Economists," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 7.
    4. Marion Fourcade & Etienne Ollion & Yann Algan, 2015. "La superioridad de los economistas," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 17(33), pages 13-43, July-Dece.
    5. Shionoya,Yuichi, 1997. "Schumpeter and the Idea of Social Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521430340.
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