Economics

Fair trade, free trade, and socialism

Submitted by martin on 9 February, 2008 - 9:17 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.

At various summits in recent years the world’s most powerful governments have promised to introduce a better deal on trade, aid and debt for the world’s poorest countries, especially in Africa.

Share price wobble gives warning

Submitted by Matthew on 14 February, 2018 - 8:40 Author: Rhodri Evans

As Solidarity goes to press on 13 February, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 share price indices in New York have been recovering since 8 February, though they are still at a lower level than when they suddenly dipped on 1 February. The FTSE 100 index in London, the DAX index in Frankfurt, and the CAC 40 index in Paris, have all been recovering since 9 February, but are lower than their recent highs on 29 January, 23 January, and 26 January respectively.

Buy out boom points to slump

Submitted by Matthew on 31 January, 2018 - 12:16

Editorial from Solidarity 460

“Private equity” — the industry that raises funds from wealthy people to buy out wobbly companies, take them off the stock markets, ruthlessly chop costs and sell off assets, get them profitable, and then sell them off again at a premium — is booming.

According to the Financial Times (24 January), “buy-out groups are setting new records for fund-raising”. They’re even turning away cash from rich people keen to get in on their operations. And the volume of buy-outs they do rose 27% from 2016 to 2017.

Capital, an abridgement

Submitted by Gemma_S on 9 October, 2017 - 4:08
Rule Carousel

Otto Rühle's abridgement of Capital, out now.

131 pages, including introduction and study notes.

As Karl Korsch remarked: “The investigation Marx undertakes in the first volume of Capital is only formally limited to the productive process of capitalism. In actual fact, in his treatment of this aspect, Marx grasps and portrays the totality of the capitalist mode of production, and the bourgeois society that emerges from it”.

“The Bible of the working class”

Submitted by Matthew on 5 October, 2017 - 10:44 Author: Martin Thomas

Karl Marx’s book Capital was published 150 years ago, on 14 September 1867, the fruits of over fifteen years’ study.

Marx was then fairly well-known in the European and US workers’ movements, through his activity in the First International, founded in September 1864. His Communist Manifesto of 1848, which had become a rarity since revolutionary socialist activity receded in the early 1850s, had been republished and translated, and was circulating well.

Where do profits come from?

Submitted by Matthew on 5 October, 2017 - 10:37 Author: Martin Thomas

How do capitalists make profits? An individual capitalist can profit by cheating, or by what orthodox economists call “technological rents” (the ability to charge a higher price for a distinctive product, or to command royalties). But that is no explanation for the whole capitalist class.

Grundrisse and wage-slavery

Submitted by Matthew on 5 October, 2017 - 9:22 Author: Martin Thomas

How can wage-labour reasonably be described as wage-slavery? If a worker makes a free contract, as an individual equal before the law, with an employer, isn’t that a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work? Shouldn’t the word “exploitation” be reserved for exceptional cases where workers are exceptionally at a disadvantage in the wage-bargain, rather being the word being used (as Marxists use it) for all wage-labour?

The Grundrisse, Marx’s “rough draft” of 1857-8, offers a faster-burning and more vivid first draft of the answers to these questions which Marx develops in Capital.