[Marxism] Marx in Germany

Angelus Novus fuerdenkommunismus at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 7 10:09:46 MDT 2012

The blog "Reification of Persons and Personification of Things" has unearthed an interesting-looking article by Jan Hoff from the journal Socialism and Democracy on the reception of Marx's Capital in contemporary Germany, as well as the "New Reading of Marx/monetary theory of value" school.  The article is behind a paywall, but the extended extract looks interesting:


In 2008–09 the student organisation of Die Linke (The Left), the Sozialistisch-Demokratischer Studierendenverband (SDS – Socialist Democratic Students League) launched a nationwide campaign for starting Capital reading-groups. In recent years there were some media reports that sales of Capital vol. I surged because of the current economic crisis, rising from several hundred in 2007 to a few thousand in 2008. This comes on top of a long tradition of high-quality research in Germany on Marx’s critique of political economy.

The theoretical underpinnings of recent German Marx-research have been closely examined by Ingo Elbe, and have been put in the context of global Marx-research by Jan Hoff. A core topic of the German debate on Capital is value theory, especially an interpretation called monetäre Werttheorie (monetary theory of value). Many German Marx researchers agree that Marx’s theory of value can be understood as a critique of pre-monetary theories of value. Accordingly, they assume that there is a necessary and specific interconnection between Marx’s concept of value, his definition of abstract labor, and his theory of money. Examples of the monetäre Werttheorie-reading of Marx can be traced back to the 1970s, but this interpretation also prevails in more recent studies.  Among the younger generation of scholars, this understanding of the Marxian theory of value is hardly contested.

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