• Xavier Lafrance
  • Charles Post
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)


This introduction presents the “political Marxist” or “Capital-centric” theoretical framework that informs the chapters in this book in addition to offering an overview of Marxist debates on the origins of capitalism. We begin with a discussion of classical accounts of the emergence of capitalism and of the evolution of Marx’s thought on this issue. When then move to the first major Marxist debate on the transition from feudalism to capitalism, which opposed Maurice Dobb and Paul Sweezy. This volume builds on Robert Brenner’s path-breaking contribution on the transition of capitalism. The introduction summarizes this contribution as well as Brenner’s critique of Immanuel Wallerstein’s work, in addition to discussing some of the main critiques to which Brenner’s work has been exposed. We also present the codification of “political Marxism” developed by Ellen Meiksins Wood and end with a summary of the different chapters in this book.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xavier Lafrance
    • 1
  • Charles Post
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Québec in MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Graduate Center and Borough of Manhattan Community CollegeCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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