Re: [OPE-L] Intro to economics

From: Alejandro Valle Baeza (valle@SERVIDOR.UNAM.MX)
Date: Thu Dec 22 2005 - 18:34:36 EST

Mensaje citado por: Paul Adler <padler@USC.EDU>:

> My 20 year-old daughter asked me yesterday what she should read if
> she wanted to get an introduction to economics without taking the
> reputedly "ridiculously boring" first-level courses available at her
> college.
> I wonder what OPE-Lers would recommend.
> Thanks in advance
> Paul
Paul, thid could be useful:
_The Fudations of Capitalist Economy_ by Jaques Gouverneur. It is free at: To download is necessary to search by "Gouverneur" at such web site.
Alejandro Valle Baeza


The book provides an introduction to the Marxist economic analysis of the
capitalist system.

The first six chapters consider the structure of the economy and adopt an
essentially static point of view. These chapters analyse successively : 1. the
basis of goods and services (namely labour, in combination with nature) ; 2. the
basis of prices and revenues (namely value, i.e. labour devoted to the
production of commodities) ; 3. the basis of profit and accumulation (surplus
value, surplus revenue) ; 4. the basic economic ratios (rate of surplus value,
composition of capital, rate of profit) ; 5. the competition for the share-out
of surplus revenue between firms and between branches ; 6. the relationships
between the capitalist sector and non-capitalist sectors.

The last three chapters adopt an essentially dynamic viewpoint and analyse
various aspects of growth. Chapter 7 successively considers the development of
mechanization, the contradiction between socialization of production and
concentration of capital, the expansion of waged labour and market production,
the human and ecological costs of growth. Chapter 8 deals with the conflicts
over the rate of surplus value ; it shows that increases in general productivity
make it theoretically possible to simultaneously raise profits, real wages and
public expenditure. Chapter 9 deals with the problem of crises ; it shows how
changes in the balance of forces, combined with the evolution of general
productivity, have actually shaped the evolution of profits, real wages and
public expenditure in advanced countries since 1950.

The conclusion moves out of the economic framework of the preceding analyses in
order to show the various elements (in the socio-economic, political and
ideological structures) which combine to make a joint contribution to the
reproduction of capitalism.

Each chapter is complemented with a summary of the argument, as well as a
selection of " theoretical " and " practical " exercises : the former are aimed
at checking the assimilation of the material, while the latter enable readers to
establish links between theory and present-day realities.

Thanks to its outstanding pedagogical qualities, the book constitutes a
first-class textbook for students and teachers as well as for any interested
reader, even without previous knowledge. At the same time, the book expresses
(and justifies in appendices) a number of non-conventional theoretical
viewpoints which deserve consideration by specialists.

Note : More information on the pedagogical and scientific interest of the book
can be found in the above document " Presentation of J.Gouverneurís latest
textbook ", p.2-3.


The same textbook is available in three languages (French, Spanish and English).
In each language there is a printed edition (in A5 size) and two electronic
editions (A5 and A4 size). The latter can be downloaded, reproduced and
published freely. See above " Presentation of J.Gouverneurís latest textbook ",
p.1 and 8.

UNAMonos ComunicŠndonos

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