The finance capital

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Finance Capital , 1923

Finance Capital is a political and economic work by Rudolf Hilferding (1877–1941) that was first published in 1910.


“Finance Capital” is a “Study of the Recent Developments in Capitalism” . For Hilferding, the development of the stock corporations and finally the monopolies was an important step beyond the capitalism of free competition towards a monopoly capitalism . Monopoly and concentration displace small entrepreneurs and small investors. The increasing merging of economy and state leads to state monopoly capitalism . "Das Finanzkapital" was shaped by Hilferding's close personal ties to Karl Kautsky and the revisionism debate .

A number of reasons can be given for the widespread use of Hilferding's ideas of finance capital. Hilferding's theory brings the conspicuous, spectacular events of the stock exchange and the power of the banks to the fore. Hilferding analyzes the conflicts of the various capitalists, industrial capital versus commercial capital, stock exchange and bank capital versus industrial capital. He analyzes a new type of capitalist phase, the rule of finance capital. Hilferding's claim was that of an analysis free of value judgments, which is equivalent to orthodox economics. This "integration service" has z. For example, the Hilferding interpreter Pietranera was highlighted when he rated the theory of finance capital as a “genuine and ingenious contribution” , as a “necessary bridge for Marxian and non-Marxian theory” .


When Rudolf Hilferding presented his book “Das Finanzkapital” to the public in 1910, it immediately met with great acclaim. Lenin used the content for his writing Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism and called the book a "most valuable theoretical study" . Otto Bauer saw it as "the work we have been waiting for a long time" and Karl Kautsky spoke with dignity of the "fourth volume of capital" . Later interpreters largely agreed with this judgment and interpreted, such as Fred Oelßner , Hilferding's finance capital as a "significant further development of Marx's economic theory" .


  • First edition: The finance capital. A study of the recent development of capitalism. Vienna: Verlag der Wiener Volksbuchhandlung Ignaz Brand & Co .; 1910
  • Additional editions: 1920, 1923, 1927, 1947, 1955, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1974 and 2000.


  • Jan Greitens: Finance Capital and Financial Systems, “Das Finanzkapital” by Rudolf Hilferding, Marburg, metropolis Verlag, 2012 [1]
  • Guenther Sandleben: Political Economy and State. On the critique of the theory of finance capital, VSA-Verlag, Hamburg 2003
  • Wilhelm Smaldone: Rudolf Hilferding . Dietz, Bonn 2000

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Jan Greitens: Finanzkapital und Finanzsysteme, “Das Finanzkapital” by Rudolf Hilferding, Marburg, metropolis Verlag, 2012, p. 406f
  2. ^ Jan Greitens: Finanzkapital und Finanzsysteme, “Das Finanzkapital” by Rudolf Hilferding, Marburg, metropolis Verlag, 2012, p. 439ff