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Economic Theory

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…

Value and Crisis: Essays on Marxian Economics in Japan

Value and Crisis: Essays on Marxian Economics in Japan

Value and Crisis opens with a long and highly informative essay on the development of Marxian economics in Japan, and contains a number of the author’s important and original contributions to this stream of thought. Itoh discusses the major points of view on Marx’s theory of value, on theories of crisis, and on problems of Marx’s theory of market value. | more…

Bureaucracy and the Labor Process: The Transformation of U.S. Industry, 1860–1920

Bureaucracy and the Labor Process: The Transformation of U.S. Industry, 1860–1920

This book makes the argument, supported by rich and extensive historical research into original sources, that it is possible to revolutionize work so that it can be, in the author’s words, “satisfying, creative, and stimulating at the same time that it is materially productive: we can have material abundance along with interesting work.” | more…

The Deepening Crisis of U.S. Capitalism (Economic History As It Happened, Vol. III)

The Deepening Crisis of U.S. Capitalism (Economic History As It Happened, Vol. III)

This is the third book of essays on the United States and the world economy produced by the fruitful collaboration of Monthly Review editors Paul M. Sweezy and Harry Magdoff. In these essays, written between 1977 and 1981, the authors assess the results of efforts taken to stabilize the economy after the epochal changes of the early 1970s, the end of capitalism’s “golden age,” by attempts to counteract the effects of inflation, debt dependence, speculation, and financial instability. | more…