chapter  4
16 Pages

Class-analytic Marxism and the recovery of the Marxian theory of enterprise

ByErik K. Olsen

This chapter considers Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff's contribution to Marxian theory by sketching an outline of Karl Marx's treatment of enterprises in Capital, then interpreting their theory of enterprise in this light. It examines the seeming paradox that surplus value emerges from the exchange of equivalents, methods of expanding surplus value absolutely or relatively, the role of the wage relation in the production of surplus value, and the accumulation of capital from surplus value. Marx develops his analysis of capitalism progressively across the three volumes of Capital. The chapter considers the historical transformations of feudalism in England and clan relations in Scotland, and Marx's investigation of capitalist production in volume one is an investigation of the production of surplus value in industrial capitalist enterprises. Building socialism involves the transformation of workplace practices, one workplace at a time or many at a time, and either with or without securing the political power of the state.