Many people have encountered Marx's critique of political economy, particularly his discussion of the dynamics of value accumulation. Less familiar are Marxist theories of the precise nature of the capitalist social system–the structures, the institutions, even the very origins of capitalism. This session will initiate a series of discussions about the rise of the world we now inhabit. We begin with one of the most influential and controversial theories of capitalism, Immanual Wallerstein's suggestion that capitalism represents a novel and distinctively modern world system.
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