Marx and the 21st century capitalism

Vol. 40 No. 4 (2020)

Published October 23, 2020
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Maques, Rosa Maria, and Patrick Rodrigues Andrade. 2020. “Marx and the 21st Century Capitalism”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 40 (4):766-87.

Marx and the 21st century capitalism

Rosa Maria Maques
Professora titular do Departamento de Economia e do Programa de Estudos Pós-Graduados em Economia Política da Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUCSP), São Paulo/SP, Brasil.
Patrick Rodrigues Andrade
Professor do Departamento de Economia da PUCSP, São Paulo/SP, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 40 No. 4 (2020), Oct-Dez/2020, Pages 766-787


This article aims to analyze contemporary capitalism in the light of Marx’s contribution in The Capital. For this, in the first part their understanding of money capital, interest-bearing capital and fictitious capital are discussed, emphasizing the fetishized aspects and the autonomy that the latter achieved in relation to the production of goods, that is, new value. In the second part, the volume assumed by fictitious capital in world capitalism and its consequences for the interior of companies and for the maintenance of employment, among others, are analyzed. Among its conclusions, it is pointed out that this relative autonomy does not constitute an anomaly or cancer. On the contrary, it is an expression of the logical development of the capital form, when there are no restraints on it, given the situation of retreat in which workers are at the international level. 

JEL Classification: E11; F3O; G10.

Keywords: Interest-bearing capital fictitious capital contemporary capitalism