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Capital as a Social Relation: Form Analysis and Class Struggle

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Publication date30/10/2021
Host publicationRethinking Alternatives with Marx: Economy, Ecology and Migration
EditorsMarcello Musto
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages24
ISBN (electronic)9783030817640
ISBN (print)9783030817633, 9783030817664
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameMarx, Engels, and Marxisms
ISSN (Print)2524-7123
ISSN (electronic)2524-7131


This chapter outlines Marx’s analysis of bourgeois (bürgerliche) society, the bourgeois form of production, relations of bourgeois production, the mode of production based on capital, and, after 1860, the capitalist mode of production (CMP). It starts with the analysis of the value form, its various expressions, its contradictions and crisis-tendencies, and the way in which social forms set the limits to class struggle. Forms and struggles shape the laws of motion of capital accumulation, which, in turn, modify the conjuncture in which forms evolve and struggles occur. The chapter also considers the nature of bourgeois social formations and their implications for economic and political institutions and conflicts. The chapter concludes with reflections on the pursuit of alternatives to capitalist relations that aim to reform capitalism or replace it in the medium- to long-term and the forms of social mobilization required for this.