- x, 242 pages ; 25 cm.
- Contents note: Introduction -- Capitalism and its origins: the theoretical context -- Marx's notion of capitalism: a synoptic account -- Marx's two approaches to the genesis of capitalism : the "productive forces -- relations of production dialectic' vs. 'so-called original accumulation' -- Early forms of capitalism and wage labour : Lenin's polemic against the Narodniks -- Capitalism and the agrarian sector : Karl Kautsky's theoretical intervention -- Post-Second World War Marxist approaches to the "transition to capitalism" question -- Non-Marxist approaches to the origins of capitalism -- Modes of production and the pre-capitalist money-owner -- Venice and the Mediterranean: a discourse on the birth of capitalism -- From a Byzantine exarchate to a major colonial power in the Mediterranean : a historical sketch of the rise of Venice up to 1204 -- The Venetian social formation until the end of the thirteenth century : an unconsummated process of original accumulation -- War economics and the ascent of capitalism in the fourteenth century -- After the encounter took hold : the reproduction of capitalism on an expanded scale -- Venice alongside the new capitalist powers -- Political power and social cohesion.Includes bibliographical references and index.Summary: Economists, historians and social scientists have offered a variety of conflicting answers to the issue of the beginnings of capitalism and these deviating answers imply different conceptualizations of what capitalism actually is. This book provides a simultaneous inquiry into the origins of capitalism as well as provides a theoretical treatise on capitalism. The Origins of Capitalism as a Social System explores the line between what is and is not capitalism, (re)producing a theory of capitalism as a system of class domination and exploitation. Part I of the book focuses on the monetary theory of value and capital developed by Karl Marx, while at the same time critically reviews an array of economic and historical literature, both Marxist and non-Marxist. Following this, Part II expounds the first emergence of capitalism in Venice. It highlights the historical contingencies that made capitalism in the Venetian society possible, as well as the structural elements of the capitalist system and their interconnectedness. Finally, Part III discusses the capitalist character of the Venetian social formation from the end of the fourteenth century until the fall of the republic to Napoleon in 1797. As part of this, the author investigates the significance of forms of governmentality beyond national cohesion and territorialization.