Class, Critique and Capitalist Crisis

  • Frederick Harry Pitts
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)


Using Werner Bonefeld’s theorisation of the social constitution of capitalist society in class antagonism, this chapter considers the critique of political economy as a critical theory of society that uncovers the concrete social relations concealed within value’s abstract social form. This centres on Bonefeld’s critique of the conceptualisation of value as a purely abstract unfolding uprooted from ongoing processes of primitive accumulation. The chapter then explores how the ‘real appearance’ of social relations in the value-form is captured in the work of Marx and the Frankfurt School on the commodity fetish. The theorisation of class on which this rests is counterposed to contemporary sociological understandings. Finally, the implications for Marxist theories of crisis are outlined, drawing on the work of Michael Heinrich and Simon Clarke.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Harry Pitts
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Economics, Finance and ManagementUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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