FROM THE PAGES OF SOCIAL SCIENTIST – Marxian Political Economy, An Introduction to ‘Capital’ – Volume I
9.5 x 6.25 inches
xiv + 166 pages
Social Scientist completed forty years of publication in the year 2012. To mark this occasion, it is planned tobring out a number of volumes containing articles on specific themes from past issues of the journal. Thepresent book is a part of this series. It contains a set of thirteen essays written by Professor VenkateshAthreya (under the pseudonym A.V. Balu) to provide readers with an introduction to Marxian politicaleconomy, which were published in issues of Social Scientist during the years 1976–78. They are mainlyconcerned with Volume I of Karl Marx’s Capital, with a focus on the origin of surplus value which is the keyto the anatomy of capitalism.
These essays had attracted wide attention at the time they were published, and were used extensively inMarx study circles all over the country. What distinguished them was the fact that they were authored by anoutstanding professional economist, familiar with frontier research not only in Marxist economics but inbourgeois economics as well, and with a rare mastery over mathematical and statistical techniques. Theywere therefore written with a panache and sureness of touch that one often finds lacking in standard textbooks.
Since the 1970s, when these essays were written, there have been dramatic changes in the world capitalist system which are of far- reaching economic, political and ideological significance. However, they are being presented in this book exactly as they were when first published. The central reason for this is that they did not deal with capitalism as it existed at the time they were written, except for passing references. Instead,they are an exposition of Marx’s ideas as presented in Volume I of Capital, intended for lay readers and students with an inclination to analytical thinking as well as interest in progressive thought. The book does,however, include an introduction by the author explaining the changed context.
Venkatesh Athreya, a chemical engineer-turned-development economist, served as Professor of Economics at Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu, for nearly three decades. His earlier works include Barriers Broken(co-authored with Djurfeldt and Lindberg, 1990) and Literacy and Empowerment (co-authored with SheelaRani Chunkath, 1996). He was the lead author of The Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Rural India(2008) and The Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Urban India (2010). He has written extensively on issues of agrarian change, literacy, gender, infanticide, food security, human development and political economy.