Das Kapital and Classical Sociology
- 32,99 €
- 32,99 €
"Marx’s Wager explores the interconnections between the various classical sociological thinkers by focusing on their relations (direct and indirect) to the work of Karl Marx. In the process we are offered fascinating new insights into Marx, together with new ways of looking at figures as various as Herbert Spencer, Auguste Comte, Harriet Martineau, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, Thorstein Veblen, W.E.B. Du Bois, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Sigmund Freud. The result is an intellectual feast for sociologists."
–John Bellamy Foster, author, The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology
Marx’s masterpiece Capital (Das Kapital) was ignored and misread, or selectively and creatively interpreted by the generation of social scientists that came after him. With a focus on how Durkheim, Weber, and Simmel attempt to supplement what they call ‘historical materialism’ or to engage in debates about ‘socialism’, this book details the significance of their references to Marx’s Capital and other writings. Although the classical sociologists did not have access to most of Marx’s published and unpublished works as we do today, they share his concern with how empirically detailed and scientifically valid knowledge of the social world may inform historical struggles for a more human world. This commitment can be called ‘Faustian’, after the title character of the poet J. W. von Goethe’s tragic epic of modernity, insofar as Marx and the classical sociologists hope to translate theory into practice while making a pact or wager with the diabolical social, political, and economic forces of the modern world.
'What I call “Marx’s wager” in the title of this book is a more severe version of Faust’s, since it entails both patient understanding and vigorous action. Like Goethe’s resolve in dedicating his life to the completion of his masterpiece as the supreme expression of his life, Marx never wavers in his commitment to produce a work that maps the possible directions for human history and that also calls for social change. For Marx, the scholarly aspect of this wager lies in the risk of miscommunication and misunderstanding, while the political aspect lies in the danger of defeat and discontent' (from the Preface).
Thomas Kemple is Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His articles appear in Theory, Culture & Society, Journal of Classical Sociology, and Rethinking Marxism. He is the author of Reading Marx Writing: Melodrama, the Market, and the ‘Grundrisse’ (1995), Intellectual Work and the Spirit of Capitalism: Weber’s Calling (2014), and Simmel (2018).