Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism (Research in Political Economy)

Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism (Research in Political Economy)

Radhika Desai

Language: English

Pages: 300

ISBN: 1780522541

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

As a few alert mainstream and corporate economists rediscover the certain elements of Marx's analysis of capitalism, the essays in the first part of this volume demonstrate that they have far to go. To their discredit, mainstream understandings whether of capitalism's growth or of Western capitalism's interrelated long-term stagnation and financialization are derailed precisely by political aversion to, or ignorance of, Marxist categories and analyses. The chapters in the second part extend Marxist insights into assessing the value of the so-called information, or knowledge-based, commodities, and offer a Marxist critique of Lenin, the only world leader who earlier had deeply studied his own country's economy. The part also presents two important works in translation. The first, read in Russian by Marx himself, raises serious questions about the relevance of Hegel in the understanding of Capital and offers its own insightful analysis. The other, by a Marxist collective in the 1970s demonstrates the centrality of politics and the class struggle in the simplistically conceived economic devalorization of constant capital. The final part contains a debate on the merits of positivist Marxism sparked by an article in Volume 26 of this research series.











finance and the implementation of its ‘‘neoliberal’’ strategy. It was exactly the time when the Welfare state was strongly attacked – with Reaganomics in the political field and Monetarism in the theoretical one; also a time when dramatic falls in the rate of profit and the various productivity indicators had been observed for almost two decades in the major industrialized countries, especially in the United States. Therefore, in the neoclassical world, endogenous growth would theorize the revival

insufficiency of consumer demand: a perspective that is more or less explicitly underconsumptionist. In both cases, the current crisis is supposed to have been incubating for a long time; it would be the crisis of a capitalism that can be defined succinctly as feeble and stagnant. I maintain that a Marxian interpretation of the crisis cannot be separated from the tendential fall of the rate of profit, but not according to the usual understanding of this fall (i.e., as a consequence of the rise of

of which it is necessary to produce the ‘‘Critique’’ should no longer refer principally to Ricardo, but rather, and much more intringuingly, include the monetary heterodoxy of Schumpeter and Keynes. 94 RICCARDO BELLOFIORE The Social Crisis in Valorization It was not so much the New Deal – which was not in fact, as the vulgate has it, ‘‘Keynesian’’ – that led to an exit from the Great Crisis, but rather a new World War, even more devastating than the first. Subsequently, in a world divided into

bubbles, two policy-related ones have been significant: changes in the regulatory framework and loose monetary policy. First, neoliberal era has been characterized by a series of regulatory changes that took place mainly in the 1990s and 2000s. The infamous Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and opened way to a change in the banking structures. In 2000, Commodity Futures Modernization Act replaced the 1982 Shad-Johnson Act and exempted certain financial innovations,

value of a coat will be equal to the former value of two coats; and in the latter case two coats will contain as much value as one did previously. One and the same labor in one and the same time always represents the same value, however much the productive force changes. But it can provide in the same time different quantities of use-values or material wealth – more, when the productive power increases, less when it decreases. Thus, the increase in the number of use-values or objects of wealth

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