A History of Marxian Economics, Volume 2: 1929-1990 (Princeton Legacy Library)

A History of Marxian Economics, Volume 2: 1929-1990 (Princeton Legacy Library)

Michael Charles Howard, John Edward King

Language: English

Pages: 437

ISBN: 2:00301339

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This second volume completes a critical history of the social, political, and theoretical forces behind Marxian economics--the only work in English to offer such comprehensive treatment. Beginning with Marxian analyses of the Great Depression and Stalinism, it explores the theories developed to explain the "long boom" in Western capitalism after the Second World War. Later chapters deal with post-Leninist theories of imperialism and continuing controversies in value theory and the theory of exploitation. After outlining recent work on the "second slump," the integration of rational-choice theory into Marxism, and the political economy of socialism, the book concludes with a review and evaluation of Marxian theory over the whole period since Marx's death. Praise for the first volume: "Howard and King have done an excellent job... One comes away with the impression of Marxian economics being a vibrant subject, relevant to the problems of these times and useful in practical matters."--Meghnad Desai, The Times Higher Education Supplement

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Zusammenbruchsgesetz des Kapitalistischen Systems (Zugleich eine Krisentheorie) (Leipzig: C.L. Hirschfeld, 1929); cf. P.M. Sweezy, The Theory of Capitalist Development (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970; first published 1942), ch. XI, and F.R. Hansen, The Breakdown of Capitalism (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985). 11. E. Varga, The Great Crisis and its Political Consequences: Economics and Politics (New York: Howard Fertig, 1974; first published 1935), pp. 13, 73—4; E.A. Preobrazhensky,

precluded autonomous development in the periphery. Undoubt­ edly much support for the new position derived from the fact that revolutions led by Marxists occurred in backward countries like Russia and China; the theory of underdevelopment seemed able to explain this, while earlier forms of Marxism could not. Indeed, some critics of Marxism saw this as evidence that classical Marxism was fallacious. But this was incorrect. Prior to the First World War, Marxists had argued that socialism and

resulting boost to department I, Dobb concluded, had offset the underconsumptionist tendencies which might otherwise have adversely affected department II. But this did not imply that 'the upward phase can go on indefinitely, as some neo-Fabians would like to have it, converting a novel "phase" (which I think we have to recognise it as being) into a quite new "stage"'. The new phase was, as he noted two years later, one of 'more frequent, but also more short-lived and shallow crises'. There was

cause of economic crises and fiscal policy could (at least in principle) set matters right. Their objections to Keynes emphasised political rather than narrowly economic constraints, and seem to owe much to Michal Kalecki's influential article on the 'political trade cycle'.43 Sweezy was an avowed underconsumptionist (see Chapter 6 below), Dobb less so but with considerable sympathy for the underconsumptionist position.44 Neither had much time for what was soon to become, in the aftermath of the

capitalists and essential outlays on public administration.)25 The concept is, however, of crucial importance for his entire theoretical system in two ways. First, it offers a powerful tool for the critical analysis of existing non-socialist economic systems, both backward and advanced. If the potential surplus were to be realised, and channelled into socially productive activities, the rate of growth could be increased and unemployment reduced. Both the standard of living and the quality of life

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