The barbaric wave of austerity crashing across Europe and much of the rest of the world both resembles and differs from the classical period of primitive accumulation which deprived masses of people of their means of production. Although landgrabs continue in this modern version of primitive accumulation, the central thrust is the destruction of all public wealth in the interest of capital. Another difference is that classical political accumulation reflected the optimism associated with a new form of making wealth, while viciousness of modern primitive accumulation seems to be an attempt to recapture the vitality of early capitalism. However, despite the short-term benefits of such cannibalistic policies for capital, in the end the result will be detrimental to the capitalists, as well as the rest of society.
Michael Perelman is a Marxist economist and economic historian and a professor of economics at California State University, Chico. He has has written numerous books and academic articles on the topic of primitive accumulation, including The Invention of Capitalism: The Secret History of Primitive Accumulation (2000).
“Crisis capitalista, política económica y tendencias de reconfiguración del orden mundial”: Claudio Katz
Crisis capitalista, política económica y tendencias de reconfiguración del orden mundial.
Segunda sesión temática Economía mundial, economías nacionales y crisis capitalista.
Conferencia Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Ciencias Sociales.
Miércoles 7 de noviembre de 2012 en el Aula magna de la Casa de la Primera Imprenta de América.
En los últimos meses hemos visto un creciente debate entre los marxistas en torno a la tasa de ganancia de EE UU y su relación con la presente crisis. Resulta paradójico, ya que en su mayor parte los marxistas rechazan el propio relato de Marx sobre la relación entre la acumulación y la tasa de rentabilidad; de hecho, recientemente, Michael Heinrich ha argumentado que Marx no tenía ninguna teoría de la crisis y que no hay ninguna base para suponer que la acumulación capitalista conduzca a una caída de la tasa de ganancia. Sin embargo, existe un amplio acuerdo con Duménil y Lévy que después del descenso prolongado de posguerra, la tasa de beneficio en EEUU comenzó a aumentar en la década de 1980, recuperándose al final de los años 1990 y marcando el comienzo de una nueva fase de expansión en EEUU.
Andrew Kliman, en Una crisis de la producción capitalista/1, ha provocado una controversia considerable con la afirmación contraria, basada en un razonamiento coherente y con una amplia evidencia empírica, según la cual la tasa de ganancia en EEUU ha continuado su tendencia a la baja.
“From the Oil Crisis to the Great Recession: Five crises of the world economy”: J. A. Tapia Granados
ABSTRACT — This article makes the case that the global economy has gone through five crises since the 1970s to the present. This implies not only that the world economy is a real entity, but also that the usual view that poses national economies as units of economic analysis is an approach with major limitations. The paper discusses the concept of “economic crisis” and provides data indicating that the world economy, not national economies, is the major unit to be analysed when trying to understand the economic reality of our time, and particularly the reality of crises. These crises are discrete, countable phenomena, distinctive states of an entity that can be properly called world economy, or world capitalism. Data on capital formation, on growth of the world output, of monetary aggregates, of unemployment rates and on industrial activity indicate five major “dips” of the global economy, i.e., world recessions, in (i) the mid 1970s, (ii) the early 1980s, (iii) the early 1990s, (iv) the early 2000s, and (v) the Great Recession that provisionally can be dated 2007-2009. To a large extent business cycle chronologies of national economies such as those produced by the NBER, the OECD, or other institutions are largely consistent with these five crises of the world economy which, obviously, had different manifestations in different nations and economic regions.
“Crisis Theory, the Law of the Tendency of the Profit Rate to Fall, and Marx’s Studies in the 1870s”: Michael Heinrich
The development of crisis theory within the Marxian tradition has been central to much of our work in the last several years. The view that the various fragmentary references to crisis theory in the three volumes of Capital constitute a fully developed coherent structure, which only requires diligent exegesis, is a view that has never seemed sensible to us.
Recent research into the evolution of Marx’s manuscripts in connection with the production of the Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (MEGA), the historical-critical edition of the complete writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, has confirmed our understanding in a very exciting way. It is now clear that Marx never ceased to develop his thinking on the phenomena of crises in capitalism, and never ceased to discard earlier formulations; for example, at the end of his life he was focused on questions of credit and crisis. Monthly Review rarely presents its readers with discussions of economic theory at a relatively high degree of abstraction; this, however, is such an occasion. We trust that the author’s exemplary clarity will permit ready access to readers with any degree of interest in Marx’s theory; for those who wish to become familiar with the conceptual outline of Marx’s work, we cannot do better than to recommend the author’s An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital (Monthly Review Press, 2012). —The Editors
Economist Andrew Kliman discusses his book “The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession” (Pluto 2012). Many analyses of the Great Recession have been put forward from theories of unregulated finance, to Neoliberalism, to rising inequality. Kliman’s book is the first to put forward, based on in-depth empirical analysis of US data, that Marx’s theory of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall can explain these events. This talk will also present some of Kliman’s most recent work on the contentious issues of wages and inequality.
Kliman’s conclusions have immediate political implications. Short of a socialist transformation the only way to escape the ‘new normal’ of stagnation is to restore profitability through full-scale destruction of the value of existing capital assets, something not seen since the Depression of the 1930′s.