Following Marx

Buy hardcover (Brill)
Published Nov 2016
ISBN: 9789004149427

Method, Critique and Crisis

Michael A. Lebowitz, Simon Fraser University (emiritus)

What does it mean to follow Marx? In this examination of Marx’s methodology combined with specific applications on topics in political economy such as neo-Ricardian theory, analytical Marxism, the falling rate of profit, crisis theory, monopoly capital, Paul Sweezy, advertising and the capitalist state, this volume argues that the failure to understand (or explicit rejection of) Marx’s method has led astray many who consider themselves Marxists. By focusing particularly upon the concept of a totality and the necessary form of appearance of capital as many capitals in competition, Following Marx both demonstrates why Marx insisted that ‘in competition everything is reversed’ and provides a guide for following Marx.

Biographical note

Michael A. Lebowitz is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University. His book, Beyond ‘Capital’: Marx’s Political Economy of the Working Class (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) was awarded the Deutscher Memorial Prize in 2004. His Build it Now: Socialism for the Twenty-first Century (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2006) has been republished in several other languages.


A reader interested in Marx and (as he hoped) ‘willing to learn something new’— thus, presumably one who will be found in universities, public libraries and the usual habitats of Marxists.


… Lebowitz’ book offers a stunning rehabilitation of Hegelian Marxism. It is a credit to Lebowitz that he is able to write about such profound themes in the lucid and engaged way of an educator. An excellent and important work
Tony Mckenna, Marx & Philosophy, 1st of June 2012

“A collection of nineteen brilliantly argued articles on Marxist theory…As Lebowitz maintains, deep knowledge of the Marxian ideology of the ‘essence and appearance’ of capital will inspire all scholars, Marxists or otherwise.” Vineth Mathoor, Capital & Class October (2011) no. 35, pp. 509-511.

Table of contents

Introduction: To Follow Marx

Part I: Critiques of Political Economy

1. The Fallacy of Everyday Notions
2. Another Crisis of Economic Theory: the Neo-Ricardian Critique
3. The Neo-Ricardian Reduction
4. Is ‘Analytical Marxism’ Marxism?
Appendix: Roemer’s Self-criticism

Part II: The Logic of Capital

5. Following Hegel: the Science of Marx
6. Explorations in the Logic of Capital

Part III: Essays in the Theory of Crisis

7. Marx’s Falling Rate of Profit: A Dialectical View
8. The General and the Specific in Marx’s Theory of Crisis
9. Paul M. Sweezy.
Appendix: Learning from Paul Sweezy

Part IV: Essence and Appearance

10. Marx’s Methodological Project
11. What is Competition?
12. Too Many Blindspots About the Media
13. The Theoretical Status of Monopoly Capital
14. Analytical Marxism and the Marxian Theory of Crisis
15. In Brenner, Everything is Reversed

Part V: Considering the Other Side of Capital

16. The Silences of Capital
17. Beyond the Capital of Uno-ism
18. Situating the Capitalist State
19. The Politics of Assumption, the Assumption of Politics