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Critique and history in Marx's Grundrisse

Grant number: 19/01286-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy
Principal researcher:Ricardo Ribeiro Terra
Grantee:Lutti Mira Salineiro
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The Project has as objective the analysis of the first mature model of the critique of political economy, such as developed by Marx in his Grundrisse, especially in the Introduction of 1857 and in Forms which precede capitalist production. From the Introduction, we retain not only the sense of the notion of critique of political economy, but as well the discussion there made by Marx about the relation between "the scientific presentation and the real movement". We sustain that the author reaches, in the Introduction, a peculiar formulation to solve such relation, grounded on the proposition of a gap between the two terms, which unfolds in the distinction between a categorial genesis of capitalism and a genesis of its real dynamic history - the first owing primacy over the second -, distinction that is fundamental in order to understand Marx's statement, according to which "the bourgeois economy thus supplies the key to the ancient [economy]". Such statement will work as a guidind thread to Forms, text in which the ideia of 'mode of presentation' assumes a central role - the pre-capitalism unfolding from capitalism -, set up in such manner as to exhibit the novelty of the capitalist property relation, highlighting capitalism as a split in relation to all pre-capitalist forms of property, allowing them to be considered en bloc. Precisely the novelty of the private property in its capitalist sense - that, in Forms, equalizes with the study about the formation of the contradiction between capital and labor - entitles a return to the Introduction in order to appreciate that, in the Grundrisse, it is the contrast with pre-capitalism that allows Marx to criticize political economy. This conclusion leads to our main thesis: it is possible to distinguish the Grundrisse from The capital by the place occupied by pre-capitalism inside the critique of political economy, place that is associated with the role of the commodity form within each of the two books. (AU)