This chapter introduces and motivates the issues to be covered in this book. It argues that economics is an instrument of class war and, hence, it is divided into two major traditions. One line of thought, which culminated into neoclassical economics, seeks to further the interest of the giant capitalists and facilitate the expansion of capitalism. The other school of thinking, which found its fullest form in Marxian economics, seeks to improve the lot of the poor. Marxian economics constitutes a strong critique of capitalism and posits a socialist society (which will eventually transform into a communist society) as vastly superior to a capitalist society. Through this argument, this chapter explains why this book presents and discusses both neoclassical and Marxian economics and their visions of capitalism. It also makes it clear why, as the book does, it is imperative to assess both neoclassical economics and Marxian economics in the light of the recent economic performances of the major capitalist countries. Since Marxian economics regards a socialist society as a just, stable and humane society and, therefore, vastly superior to a capitalist society, this chapter argues, as has been done in this book, that it is necessary to present the economic performances of the major socialist countries and compare them to those of the major capitalist countries to verify Marx’s position.
KeywordsNeoclassical economics Marxian economics Capitalism Socialism Communism
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