The decline of capitalism and rise of Labourism in Britain : a theoretical exposition
The central aim of this thesis is to provide an exposition of the decay of the categories of political economy first made famous by classical political economy, but subjected to rigorous critique by Marx. An explanation of the following form the theoretical core of the thesis: the decay of the categories - abstract labour, value and capital (in its fixed, circulating and variable forms); how the decay of these categories led to the collective formation of the working class; and how, combined, they provide the key to understanding the full ramifications of the weakening of commodity fetishism and decline of capitalism. More specifically, the thesis is concerned with establishing an alternative Marxist theory of the decline of capitalist social relations of production in Britain. The thesis moves through three distinct phases to complete the task comprehensively. Firstly, a critique of the existing literature concerning decline is undertaken, with specific reference to Britain. Secondly, an alternative Marxist theory of decline is put forward. Thirdly, the full implications of the theory is then expounded by way of a case study of British capitalism. Of course capitalist social relations of production are universal, in the sense that they are global relations of exchange and exploitation, as well as being specific to individual nations. Therefore, inevitably, the exposition of the concept of capitalist decline will extend, on occasions, beyond my chosen case study - Britain. Nevertheless, the main concern is with British capitalism and its specific path to decline.