The aim of political economy is to explain the predominant mode of production within the socio-economic system under consideration; to explain how it has developed, how it presently functions and how it may develop in the future. It is, therefore, an attempt to comprehend a dynamic process which is neither finished nor static, but is characterised by motion and change. Furthermore, the subject matter is often contradictory and complex, with superficial similarities to other periods of time and other social systems. It is for this reason that the mechanical transposition of categories from one social system to another, on the basis of little or one-sided empirical knowledge, as already noted, is doomed to failure. However, there are elements of methodology which are ahistorical and applicable to all epochs, and from a Marxist perspective these provide the starting point.
KeywordsLabour Productivity Class Structure Labour Process Labour Time Labour Power
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