The Capitalist Cycle: An Essay on the Marxist Theory of the Cycle (Historical Materialism Book Series)

The Capitalist Cycle: An Essay on the Marxist Theory of the Cycle (Historical Materialism Book Series)

Language: English

Pages: 152

ISBN: 1608460185

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Capitalist Cycle is a translation of a previously unknown work in Marxist economic theory. Originally published in 1928, this rediscovered work is one of the most creative essays witten by a Soviet economist during the first two decades after the Russian Revolution. Following the dialectic of Hegel and Marx, Maksakovsky aims to provide a 'concluding chapter' for Marx's Capital. The book examines economic methodology and logically reconstructs Marx's analysis into a comprehensive and dynamic theory of cyclical economic crises. The introductory essay by Richard B. Day situates Maksakovsky's work within the Hegelian and Marxist philosophical traditions by emphasizing the book's dialectical logic as well as its contribution to economic science.
Richard B. Day, Ph.D. (1970), University of London, is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Toronto. He has written extensively on early Soviet debates and translated several books, including works by N.I. Bukharin and E.A. Preobrazhensky.

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Henry Regnery Company, 1963), first published in German in 1937.] Introduction • 7 not put forth this notion. Having submerged the problem of the crisis in the problem of the conjuncture, and having minimised capitalist contradictions, they now posed the problem of overcoming those same contradictions in practice. The background of this strategic plan had two dimensions: first, the conviction that crises have become more moderate in recent decades; and second, the developing ideology of

On the contrary, there are the closest possible interactions and connections between them. Just as development of economic processes on the surface of things is shaped by the activity of fundamental forces, so the activity of the latter is possible only given the reverse influence coming from the former." The law of value is not a law of 'moving equilibrium' on the part of the capitalist system's (static) fundamental elements, with equilibrium, in turn, being periodically disrupted by dynamic

which each relates to all others merely as means to his own ends. Ethical order appears, as a result, to be split once more into the abstraction of 'private persons whose end is their own interest'. 20 Nevertheless, ethical life remains the inner necessity of market relations, and what appears to be merely objective — market exchange — retains implicit ethical purpose. When he turns directly to economics, Hegel congratulates Adam Smith for detecting, behind the apparent 'mass of accidents' on the

interaction. Whereas the period of expansion sees these moments interacting on a widening basis, determined by the upward movement of prices for all commodities, including labour-power, the depression involves the same process in reverse and is determined by the downward movement of prices. However, the result of the interaction between these two factors is different in the two periods. During the expansion, the productive forces surged forward as they 'took the bit in their teeth' and

have fallen sharply, hardly any capitalist is in a position to settle his credit obligations with cash. The demand for means of payment grows rapidly. The burden of commercial credit is transferred to the shoulders of money credit. 'In times of stringency, the demand for loan capital is a demand for means of payment and nothing else; it is by no means a demand for money as a means of purchase. At the same time, the rate of interest may rise very high, regardless of whether real capital, i.e.,

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