Economics

Marxist economists analyse the crisis

Financial crisis

Author: 

Costas Lapavitsas/Leo Panitch/Fred Moseley/Michel Husson/Andrew Kliman/David Laibman/Simon Mohun/Trevor Evans/Robert Brenner/more
Andrew Kliman and David Laibman are new contributors, and Michel Husson, Fred Moseley, Leo Panitch, and Costas Lapavitsas present second thoughts, in a symposium also including Simon Mohun, Trevor Evans, Robert Brenner, and Dick Bryan.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Fair trade, free trade, and socialism

Author: 

Paul Hampton

Trade is a vital part of the neoliberal economic, political and ideological regime that now dominates the world economy and most national states.

In this pamphlet we try to grasp the essential features of the world economy, especially relating to trade issues.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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An opaque economic crisis

Author: 

Rhodri Evans

Over the last several months, a crisis originating at the lower end of the US mortgage market has become, at least incipiently, a world credit crisis.

The immediate background to the credit crisis is a bubble, since about 2003, in low-security, high-interest mortgage lending in the USA. Corporations have made a buck by lending to house-buyers with poor credit records, at high rates of interest.

They allow for some defaults in payment. But when interest rates go up, and the house-price spiral slows or reverses, the defaults swell.

Over the last several months, a crisis originating at the lower end of the US mortgage market has become, at least incipiently, a world credit crisis.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

Where do profits come from?

Introduction

The basic Marxist analysis of capital is the fundamental groundwork on which modern socialism stands. Marxism explains how capital works; how the workers — free workers, not chattel-slaves, but the legal equals of the richest in capitalist society — are exploited in the process of production. In short, why it is not hype or demagogy, but plain truth, to say that the modern working class is a class of wage-slaves.

Marxist Theory and History: 

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What means this strike?

By Daniel De Leon

What you now stand in need of, aye, more than of bread, is the knowledge of a few elemental principles of political economy and of sociology. Be not frightened at the words. It is only the capitalist professors who try to make them so difficult of understanding that the very mentioning of them is expected to throw the workingman into a palpitation of the heart. The subjects are easy of understanding.

Marxist Theory and History: 

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A one-sided view of capitalist progress

I don’t disagree with what Chris Reynolds says about progress (‘New forces and passions’ WL63) but I think it is one-sided, in two respects.

Firstly there are, I think, two distinct notions in Lenin about the progressive or reactionary character of “imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism”. One is the notion of “moribund” capitalism — that is, the idea that capitalism has exhausted its capacity to develop the forces of production (forced to adopt collectivist forms like monopoly, etc.). Chris rightly argues that if this were so the 20th century would be inexplicable. Capitalism continues to this day to do “progressive” work: developing production, innovation, and so on. Moreover, I would add that it would be impossible to function in the world without some notion of progress in human affairs.

Marxist Theory and History: 

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Forum: Capitalism: neither decline, nor progress

Some time in the late 80s various fragments of the Healy/Lambert tradition of catastrophist Trotskyism met in all seriousness in Paris for a conference on the theme “Have the productive forces grown since the War?” Chris Reynolds is correct to reject this kind of dogmatism, which flies in the face of reality and by which capitalism has been in an epoch of continuous decline since 1914. He is also correct to reject attempts to maintain the notion of decline by redefining the term and to insist on an analysis that starts from capitalism as it is rather than from our hopes of its collapse or the recitation of past classic texts.

Marxist Theory and History: 

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A fight that must challenge capital

Author: 

Robin Blackburn

Robin Blackburn, author of Banking on Death, or, Investing in Life: The history and future of pensions, spoke at the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty London forum on 17 February 2005.

The pension issue is the one which has proved time and again that it can get really large numbers of working people fighting for their rights and for a better world.

Robin Blackburn, author of "Banking on Death, or, Investing in Life: The history and future of pensions", speaking at the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty London forum on 17 February 2005

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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Labour: Making the Rich Richer

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Their triumphalism has been a little chastened. New Labour politicians these days are not quite as bold as Tony Blair was when he told Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight before the 2001 election that he was not bothered about a widening gap between rich and poor.

“Paxman: Is it acceptable for gap between rich and poor to widen?

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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