Marx’s Vision of Capitalism through the Critical Realist Paradigm
A comparative reading of Roy Bhaskar’s Critical Realism and Marx’s exposition on the nature of Capitalism
My choice of Roy Bhaskar might be put down to fortunate chance – or perhaps to the workings of the unseen real on the elements of the visible actual as Bhaskar would have it. I had picked up a book on critical realism as a general read a few months ago and was quite fascinated by the clear and well reasoned paradigm it presented of the natural and social sciences. The Wiki page on critical realism presented Roy Bhaskar as one of the founding and leading thinkers of the critical realist school and so when we were asked to select a thinker I immediately chose Bhaskar. Whether or not Bhaskar is as widely acclaimed as the Wiki page stated is a matter of debate (the Wiki discussions page on Bhaskar has a number of claims contrary to those in the Main article). However there is no doubt that Bhaskar’s work is significant in critical realist circles especially in the UK.
Preparing this paper itself was no easy matter. There were obstacles every mile of the way not least among them being my absolute inability to get my hands on any of Bhaskar’s books except certain excerpts from the Net. Thus I had to confine most of my reading to his essays and published debates and whatever secondary sources I could access on the Net. Apart from that, understanding the critical realist philosophy is quite a tedious task and this painful fact is in no way assuaged by Bhaskar’s quite abstruse style of writing, especially in his later work. However whenever a particularly difficult concept became clear I was struck by sheer rationality of it and this made my study quite fulfilling. I have tried to be as lucid as possible in this paper in my treatment of the various concepts that I have dealt with.
This paper has been written in three parts. In the first...