Volume 11 • Number 3 • Fall 2020

All articles below are read and used under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY License) (see which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited.



The Great Contribution of Engels to Capital

Jianping Li and Zhenhuang Yang

Abstract: Marx and Engels were close confidants and had the same beliefs and aspirations. Both of them devoted a great deal of effort to Capital. Although Engels did not claim co-authorship of Capital, he was a genuine collaborator in ensuring it would appear, making major contributions to its creation and publication. Together with Marx, he helped lay the foundations for Capital in the 1840s, establishing the basic elements of practice, method, and politics that would bring the work into being. From the 1850s to 1867 he devoted enormous energies to supporting the creation of Capital. During the 1870s he worked to promote Capital, and from 1883 to 1894 he toiled at preparing the final two volumes for publication. All in all, Engels was a legendary writer who devoted himself to Capital over a period of half a century.

Keywords: Marx; Engels; Capital


Linkages between Economic and Military Imperialism

Isaac Christiansen

Abstract: Much has been written both about economic and military manifestations of empire, but there are fewer examinations of how the two are interconnected. This article explores five forms of linking motivations by which economic imperialism escalates into military interventions: resource covetous, enterprise-specific, system protective, empire share, and military-industrialist linkages. The first three types describe how imperial relations between empires and client states may lead military interventions in the latter by the former to ensure control of critical resources, corporate dominance of a client state’s land or industry, or to safeguard global capitalism itself. Empire share linkages are reflected when conflict among imperialist countries themselves develops into wars among core countries, while military-industrial linkages are when the interests of the arms and related industries themselves become a motivation for military interventions. These connections are not mutually exclusive, and each may be manifested to a lesser or greater degree in various imperialist interventions simultaneously.

Keywords: economic imperialism; military imperialism; military spending


Politics, Power, Policy, and a Fair Society: The Failed Promise of the Asian Medicine Market

Malay Roy

Abstract: Asymmetry in knowledge and bargaining power creates opportunities for duplicity and malpractice. Based on the experiences of the Asian medicine market, we propose that this economic sector is particularly susceptible to these vices. The visible hand of the government appears to be more effective in disciplining malefactors than the invisible hand of the market. This thesis is based on areas of knowledge such as political science, ethics, and philosophy that remain, in general, off limits to economists wishing to maintain the purity of the discipline.

Keywords: Asia; politics; policy; medicine; exclusion; welfare


Labor Productivity and Marxist Theory of Labor Value

Alejandro Valle Baeza and Blanca Gloria Martínez González

Abstract: This article proves that the productivity defined rigorously within the Marxist theory of value is what economists use most of the time. When analyzing the changes in productivity of a country or the relationship between real wages and productivity or comparing the levels of productivity between countries, labor productivity is used and not, for example, multifactor productivity. In all three previous cases what legitimizes the use of labor productivity is the Marxist theory of value. We will see in the present article that, if productivity is defined as the reciprocal of the value of a basket of merchandises, the mathematical expressions commonly used in applied economics are deduced to understand the variations and levels of productivity and the link between that variable and the real wage. Since most non-Marxist economists reject Marxian theory of value, we conclude that, nonetheless, they use it without knowing it.

Keywords: labor productivity; labor value; international wages; real wages


Classical Labor Values: Properties of Economic Reproduction

David Zachariah and Paul Cockshott

Abstract: We consider economic value as a property that renders heterogeneous goods and services commensurable. Starting from the basic division of output between workers and non-workers, we are able to derive value as a property of systems of economic reproduction. We show its relation to value in classical political economy and in Sraffian economic theory. We go on to discuss the applicability of the derivation and its relevance for analyzing distribution, productivity and employment in a wide range of economies.

Keywords: value; labour value; prices of production


Clinging to the Relics for Support: Capitalism and the Nation

Review of The Sublime Perversion of Capital: Marxist Theory and the Politics  of History in Modern Japan by Gavin Walker

Michael Keaney

Abstract: Observing the apparently anomalous retention of pre-capitalist forms amid rapid economic transformation, Marxists in early 20th-century Japan grappled with the theoretical challenges posed by a set of practices that did not adhere to the presumed teleology of capitalist development. In response, they proposed a sophisticated treatment of nationalism as an essential (but inherently temporary) stabilizing feature of capitalism, requiring constant reinvention as part of capitalism’s fundamentally unstable and contradictory growth process. The validity of this treatment can be witnessed today with respect to populist backlashes in Europe and North America, and strident nationalist and even genocidal state policies in South Asia, amid a general stalling of the neoliberal globalization project that has increasingly been seen to fail in the unfolding aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2007–2009.

Keywords: nationalism; development; the state; capitalism


WAPE Membership Information


Guidelines for Contributors


Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.