Date of Award


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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Although the literature produced on Marx's philosophic contribution over the past 100 years is immense, most of it has focused on his analysis of the economic and political structure of capitalism, the "materialist conception of history," and his critique of value production. There has been very little discussion or analysis, however, of his conception of what constitutes an alternative to capitalism. One reason for this is that it has long been assumed that Marx's disdain for utopian socialists and his strictures against inventing "blueprints about the future" meant that his work does not address the possible content of a postcapitalist society that transcends value production. Yet while Marx never wrote a single work addressing the alternative to capitalism, critically important comments and suggestions are found throughout his writings about the transcendence of value production and the contours of a postcapitalist future. This study subjects Marx's discussions of an alternative to capitalism to critical scrutiny by exploring all four decades of his philosophic output--from his early writings of the 1840s, to his various drafts of Capital and Capital itself, as well as his late writings on postcapitalism. This study examines not only Marx's major and well-known works, but also his notebooks, drafts, letters and marginalia that are now being compiled as part of the MEGA2 project.

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