Understanding the economy

The hidden face of economic phenomena

SUMMARY OF THE BOOK The book provides an introduction to the Marxist economic analysis of the capitalist system. The first six chapters consider the structure of the economy and adopt an essentially static point of view. These chapters analyse... Read More


The book provides an introduction to the Marxist economic analysis of the capitalist system.

The first six chapters consider the structure of the economy and adopt an essentially static point of view. These chapters analyse successively : 1. the basis of goods and services (namely labour, in combination with nature) ; 2. the basis of prices and revenues (namely value, i.e. labour devoted to the production of commodities) ; 3. the basis of profit and accumulation (surplus value, surplus revenue) ; 4. the basic economic ratios (rate of surplus value, composition of capital, rate of profit) ; 5. the competition for the share-out of surplus revenue between firms and between branches ; 6. the relationships between the capitalist sector and non-capitalist sectors.

The last three chapters adopt an essentially dynamic viewpoint and analyse various aspects of growth. Chapter 7 successively considers the development of mechanization, the contradiction between socialization of production and concentration of capital, the expansion of waged labour and market production, the human and ecological costs of growth. Chapter 8 deals with the conflicts over the rate of surplus value ; it shows that increases in general productivity make it theoretically possible to simultaneously raise profits, real wages and public expenditure. Chapter 9 deals with the problem of crises ; it shows how changes in the balance of forces, combined with the evolution of general productivity, have actually shaped the evolution of profits, real wages and public expenditure in advanced countries since 1950.

The conclusion moves out of the economic framework of the preceding analyses in order to show the various elements (in the socio-economic, political and ideological structures) which combine to make a joint contribution to the reproduction of capitalism.

Each chapter is complemented with a summary of the argument, as well as a selection of " theoretical " and " practical " exercises : the former are aimed at checking the assimilation of the material, while the latter enable readers to establish links between theory and present-day realities.

Thanks to its outstanding pedagogical qualities, the book constitutes a first-class textbook for students and teachers as well as for any interested reader, even without previous knowledge. At the same time, the book expresses (and justifies in appendices) a number of non-conventional theoretical viewpoints which deserve consideration by specialists.


Diffusion universitaire Ciaco
Jacques Gouverneur,
Publisher Category
Economics and Social Sciences > Economics > Economic Theories
Publisher Category
Economics and Social Sciences > Economics > Political Economics
Onix Audience Codes
06 Professional and scholarly
Title First Published
Type of Work

Livre broché

Publication Date
01 January 2005
Main content page count : 186
16 x 24 x 1.1 cm
393 grams
List Price
17.30 €
Version 2.1, Version 3

Google Book Preview

Write a commentary


Myriam Watthee-Delmotte et Catherine Mayaux 7
Quelques lettres inédites de la correspondance entre Philippe Jaccottet et Henry Bauchau, présentées et annotées par Catherine Mayaux et Anne-Sophie Miccio 12
« L'Escalier bleu » : avant-texte (fac simile), présenté par Matthieu Dubois 17
Poèmes inédits, présentés et annotés par Catherine Mayaux 30
Dossier thématique : « l'Ancrage suisse »
Sofiane Laghouati : Henry Bauchau en Suisse : « Portrait de l'homme en jeune auteur » 37
Isabelle Vanquaethem : Les journaux d’Henry Bauchau durant ses années suisses, socles d’une quête identitaire 47
Muriel Pic : Bauchau, Reverchon, Jouve : la Suisse intérieure entre mémoire et divination 59
Will Stone : Poetics of Géologie (1958) 70
Marinne Fro ye : Présence lexicale de la Suisse dans la poésie d’Henry Bauchau de 1951 à 1975 77
Corina Dambean : Paysage suisse et imaginaire minéral chez Henry Bauchau 91
Lauriane Sable : Les années suisses : l’essor du visuel dans l’oeuvre d’Henry Bauchau 101
Daniel Maggeti : Une réception discrète et attentive : Henry Bauchau dans les journaux romands (1958-1975) 112
Myriam Watthe -Delmotte : Henry Bauchau et le Théâtre des Osses 126

Nadège Coutaz : Le paradoxe Antigone dans le roman d’Henry Bauchau. Figuration de l’exil 138
Odile Cornuz : L’écriture du cri chez Henry Bauchau 150
Actualité scientifique : bibliographie critique 2009-2010 (Lauriane Sable) 164
L’année Bauchau 2010 (Isabelle Vanquaethem) 167
Crédits photographiques 173