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Retour sur une tradition méconnue: Austro-marxisme et économie politique (I)

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Abstract

The Austro-Marxists, one of the most prolific and productive schools of Marxist thought in Europe between the 1890s and the 1940s, were not only pioneers in political theory, they also excelled in political economy. In this article, their major contributions to Marxist political economy – including Hilferding’s famous Finance Capital – are presented in their historical intellectual context, that of prewar and postwar Austria and Europe. According to their credo, they made major advances in Marxist economic thought, in close contact with the major developments in philosophy and the social sciences of their time. Both in terms of the identification of some of the salient unresolved questions pertaining to Marx’s critique of political economy and in tackling them, the Austromarxists, Otto Bauer, Karl Renner and others in particular, led and paved the way. Beyond that, the Austro-Marxists provided some of the most sophisticated examples of teaching Marx’s critical political economy.