In particular, it spells out and defends the controversial notion of a 'capitalist road to communism'.
It was Philippe van Parijs' conviction that the Marxist tradition can be kept alive as an essential political component of the Left not through dutiful conservation, but through ruthless recycling: the discarding of encumbering elements, and the reshaping of the remainder using the latest intellectual 'technology'. The essays collected in this book examine the structure and potential of historical materialism as a general theory of social change. They draw on the lessons of the failure of Marxist crisis theory, and show how a rejuvenated notion of exploitation can illuminate the analysis of the class structure of welfare state capitalism or the assessment of international migration. They explore and advocate a 'capitalist road to communism' that expands the realm of freedom while bypassing socialism, and they develop those aspects of the Marxist project consistent with ecological concerns.
Table of Contents
Part I. A New Start for Historical
Materialism?: 1. From contradiction to
2. Marxism's central puzzle
Part II. Crisis Theory Shattered: 3. A rational
reconstruction by way of obituary
4. Why Marxist economics needs microfoundations
Part III. Exploitation Rejuvenated: 5.
Exploitation and the libertarian challenge
6. A revolution in class theory
7. Marxism and migration
Part IV. Forward without Socialism: 8. A
capitalist road to communism
9. Universal grants versus socialism
10. In defence of abundance
Envoi: the greening of Marx.