Thursday, September 8, 2011

498. The Crises of Capitalism: A Different Study of Political Economy

By Saral Sarkar, September 8, 2011

Dear Friend: 

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that my above mentioned book is now available in the internet as a PDF document for free downloading. The original of the book was written in German and published in 2009. It took two years to get it translated into English and for me to revise the content. Despite much effort -- my own as well as of my friends in England and America -- no publisher could be found willing to publish this serious theoretical work.
   The current world economic crisis is now three-and-a-half years old and a second great recession is looming on the horizon. The prospects are gloomy: either a long stagnation or even a new long depression. In any case,  without doubt, it will be a continuous downward movement. The question "will capitalism soon be over?" was already raised in October 2008 at a conference in San Francisco. It is therefore very important and urgent for all political activists and politically interested people to study the crises of capitalism, past and present, in the light of what new knowledge and insights we have gained in the past few decades. Indeed, it is necessary to make a new critical study of political economy, one that is different from  all those obsolete ones that we know till today. I have tried to do this. Here is the link:

 I  would be much obliged, if you inform your friends and acquaintances of the appearance of this book.

With best wishes and in solidarity

*     *     *

Table of Contents


Chapter I
1. The tendency of the rate of profit to fall.
2. Dissatisfaction with the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall.
3. The Marxist under-consumption theory of crisis.
4. Dissatisfaction with the under-consumption theory of crisis – the disproportionality theory of crisis.
5. So where is the final crisis of capitalism?
6. The controversy over the breakdown theory
(a) the pauperization theory, (b) Rosa Luxemburg: limits to accumulation, (c) Critique of Luxemburg's theory.
Chapter II. The Great Crash and the Great Depression            29

Chapter II
1.The 1920s.
2. The boom and the delirium.
3. The crash.
4. The Great Depression.
5. Explanations.

Chapter III. The Saviors of Capitalism            40
1.Keynes and the Keynesians.
(a) Crisis of orthodox economics.
(b) The non-Marxist crisis management.
(c) The Keynesian Revolution. (d) Keynes versus Marx. (e) The rise of

2. Schumpeter's transfiguration of crises: creative destruction.
(a) Schumpeter's theory of business cycles.
(b) The long waves.
(c) Demise of capitalism.
(d) Schumpeterian economic policy.

Chapter IV. Stagflation – The Decline of Keynesianism and The Rise of Neo-liberalism            62
1. Stagflation.
2. The neo-liberal counterrevolution.
3. The theoretical foundation of neo-liberal policies. – monetarism versus Keynesianism.
4. Monetarist economic policy.
5. Neo-liberalism and supply-side economics.

Chapter V. Why Keynesianism Failed – Explanations Of Professional Economists 73
1.A political decision.
2. Is inflation a major or rather a minor evil?
3. Public campaigns.
4. Some more objective explanations.
5. The objective compulsion to restructure the economy: Why Keynesianism had to be buried.
6. Macro-politics.

Chapter VI. The Crises In Globalized Neo-liberal Capitalism            83
1. From the 1970s to the end of the 1980s
(a) The debt crisis of the developing countries. (b) The stock exchange bubble and the crash of 1987.
2. The turbulent 1990s
(a) The neo-liberal Democrats in the USA.
(b) Recession and stagnation in Japan .
(c)Rescue effort for Japan, about-turn in the USA.
(d) Crises in the "emerging markets".
(e) The great crisis in East Asia.
(f) Russia.
(g) Latin America.
(h) Japan and the USA
after the East Asia crisis.
3. A long-drawn crash and a collapse in the new millennium
(a) A great crash in instalments.
(b) The collapse in Argentina.

Chapter VII. Can Keynesianism Solve The Problems This Time?            115
1. Inflation.
2. Had Keynesianism really been buried?.
3. Recipes of German Keynesians against the stagnation.
4. My doubts.
5. Global Keynesianism?
6. Keynesians do not know any limits to growth.
7. An half-socialism cannot function.

Chapter VIII. Why Globalization Should Be Criticized            132
1. The theory of comparative advantage and the arguments for globalization.
2. The assumptions of the theory and the reality:
(a)The political reality.
(b) The economic reality.
3. The sustainability criterion.

Chapter IX. Aspects Of The Crisis of Capitalism            142
1. Instability of the international financial system.
2. Mass unemployment and workers' discontent.
3. Unfulfilled promises of innovations.
4. The crisis of the welfare state.
5. The crisis of Social Democracy.
6. Economic compulsions, limitations and temptations.
7. Crisis of capitalism in the Third World.
8. The growing defensive and compensatory costs.

Chapter X. Where Does The Surplus Come From?            161
1. The secret of the rising labour productivity.
2. Sustainable growth?
3. Entropy, low-entropy and the economic process.
4. Perspectives.
5. The pincer-grip crisis.

Chapter XI. The Future of Capitalism            175
1. Harry Shutt's vision of a regulated, egalitarian and global capitalism.
2. A few success stories.
3. Can capitalism survive in a contracting economy?:
(a) Herman Daly's steady-state capitalism.
(b) Elmar Altvater's mutually supportive
4. Conclusion; perspective on the future.

Chapter XII. The Global Economic Crisis of 2008–2010.            189
1. The course of the crisis to date.
2. The immediate causes of the crisis.
3. Superficial explanations.
4. Why did the housing bubble burst?
5. The real, deeper cause of the crisis: limits to growth.
6. Perspective.
Bibliography            204

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