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Economic Theory

Capitalism and the Information Age: The Political Economy of the Global Communication Revolution

Capitalism and the Information Age: The Political Economy of the Global Communication Revolution

Not a day goes by that we don’t see a news clip, hear a radio report, or read an article heralding the miraculous new technologies of the information age. The communication revolution associated with these technologies is often heralded as the key to a new age of “globalization.” How is all of this reshaping the labor force, transforming communications, changing the potential for democracy, and altering the course of history itself? Capitalism and the Information Age presents a rigorous examination of some of the most crucial problems and possibilities of these novel technologies. | more…

The Triumph of Financial Capital

The announced subject of this conference is “New Trends in Turkey and the World.” I shall not try to say anything about new trends in Turkey, partly because of my ignorance but more importantly because Turkey is very much part of the world, and in this period the mother of all new trends is global in nature. To understand what is happening in any part of the world, one must start from what is happening in the whole world. Never has Hegel’s dictum “The Truth is in the Whole” been as true and relevant as it is today. | more…

Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of 'Market Socialism'

Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of ‘Market Socialism’

After years of pro–market reforms, China faces a fundamental choice. Will it move toward private capitalism, or toward a renewal of the collective and socialist basis of its revolution? Red Cat, White Cat begins by examining the tensions growing within “market socialism.” Weil provides background on marketization, the class forces that produced it, and the polarization and social dislocation that it is generating. | more…

Transforming the Revolution: Social Movements and the World-System

Transforming the Revolution: Social Movements and the World-System

In this successor volume to the widely read Dynamics of Global Crisis, the authors engage in a provocative discussion of the history and contemporary dilemmas facing the movements that are variously described as antisystemic, social, or popular. The authors believe that these movements, which have for the past 150 years protested and organized against the multiple injustices of the existing system, are the key locus of social transformation. | more…

The Great Reversal: The Privatization of China 1978-1989

The Great Reversal: The Privatization of China 1978-1989

The Great Reversal is the first critical study of the widely heralded reforms currently transforming China’s economy. From his long experience in Chinese agriculture, Hinton first examines the course of agricultural reform over the past decade, then looks at its consequences in different areas of the countryside and considers its implications for the country as a whole. He raises troubling questions about China’s capitalist future—the growing landlessness, increasing inequality, and above all, the destruction of the nation’s natural resources and the collectively built infrastructure that was the great achievement of the revolution. In so doing he sheds new light on the sources of discontent behind the demonstrations that culminated in the Tiananmen massacre of June 1989. | more…

The Financial Explosion

Credit where credit is due. For a long time now we have been harping in this space on the theme of a monetary system out of control; of the wild proliferation of new financial institutions, instruments, and markets; of the unchecked spread of a speculative fever certainly more pervasive and perhaps even more virulent than any recorded in the long history of capitalism’s get-rich-quick obsessions. With few exceptions, accredited economists, as is their wont, have ignored these bizarre goings-on: they are not part of the way the economy is supposed to operate and are hence unworthy of “scientific” attention.  | more…

The Irreversible Crisis (Economic History As It Happened, Vol. V)

The Irreversible Crisis (Economic History As It Happened, Vol. V)

The economies of the capitalist world-individually and as part of a closely knit global system-have been in an ongoing state of crisis since the early 1970s when the long post World War II boom finally came to an end. This crisis has gone through several phases but has not at any time shown signs of giving way to a renewed long wave of prosperity. | more…

Stagnation and the Financial Explosion (Economic History As It Happened, Vol. IV)

Stagnation and the Financial Explosion (Economic History As It Happened, Vol. IV)

This is the fourth in the magisterial series of essays by the former editors of Monthly Review on the state of the U.S. economy and its relation to the global system. Like its predecessors, this volume focuses on the development of U.S. capitalism as it takes place, and covers the 1980s. The authors stress the profound contradictions of the underlying processes of capital accumulation and identify, before any other economic commentators, the immense implications of the use of the explosion of debt to attempt to solve the problems presented by the underlying stagnation in the real economy. | more…

The Faltering Economy

The Faltering Economy

The essays in this volume, by veteran economists as well as younger scholars, are part of a radical attempt to grapple with the problems of advanced capitalist development without discarding the real theoretical breakthroughs made by Keynes. The contributors argue that Keynes was correct in pointing to the economic contradictions stemming from unemployment, incoming inequality, and speculative finance, but failed to consider the class composition of social output, the macroeconomic effects of the modern firm, and the atrophy of investment under conditions of capitalist maturity. | more…