Feb 1, 2015
Capital & Class
The problems most people have in understanding Marx come not only from the complexity of his theories, but also from the frequent changes in the meanings of his concepts. The present article attributes this unusual practice to Marx’s ‘philosophy of internal relations’, which serves as the foundation for his dialectical method, and his use of the process of abstraction (breaking up our internally related world into the ‘parts’ best suited to study it). The ‘flexibility’ found in Marx’s use of language is the linguistic counterpart of the different abstractions he believes necessary in order to capture the complex workings of capitalism. Marx’s dialectical categories, especially ‘contradiction’, are good examples of this process at work.