9. The Marxian Challenge

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Moral Foundations of Politics (PLSC 118)

Marxism is the second Enlightenment tradition upon which the course will focus. Contrary to popular belief, Marx did not hate capitalism but derived from economic analysis that it would self-destruct and lead to socialism. It is also a myth that Marx did not care about freedom; he was only egalitarian in the sense that he wanted everyone to have freedom. Ergo, Professor Shapiro asserts that Marx's dialectical materialism is as committed to the two principles of the Enlightenment--basing politics in science and emphasizing individual rights--as utilitarianism. In fact, Marx draws deeply from the Lockean workmanship ideal in formulating his secular labor theory of value, and he was also strongly influenced by classical economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo. Professor Shapiro explains Marx's ideas about natural and market prices, use-value and exchange value, commodification of labor, and alienation. The question Marx--and the class--is left with is, in a world where equivalents exchange for equivalents, where does profit come from?

00:00 - Chapter 1. Marx and the Enlightenment
20:27 - Chapter 2. Marx's Intellectual Biography
25:19 - Chapter 3. The Project of Classical Political Economy

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2010.