International Luxemburgist Forum - Foro Luxemburguista Internacional - Forum Luxemburgiste Intl

Forum for those in general agreement with the ideas of Rosa Luxemburg.
Foro para aquellos que tienen un acuerdo general con las ideas de Rosa Luxemburgo.
Forum pour ceux qui ont un accord général avec les idées de Rosa Luxembourg.


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    The causes & nature of the economic crisis


    Number of posts : 1
    Registration date : 2010-03-08

    The causes & nature of the economic crisis

    Post  duvinrouge on Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:19 am

    Mainstream economists cannot explain the crises in capitalism because they do not have any objective basis for value.
    With the neo-classicals embracing marginalist conceptions of value economics went up a dead end.
    It was left for Marxists to continue the study of capitalism on an objective basis.
    But even within Marxism crisis theory is not settled.
    It seems many Marxists forget the objective end that capitalism faces due to its need to loot - as made clear by Rosa.

    So could one way of explaining the current crisis be as follows:

    1. Overproduction & the resulting fall in the rate of profit (the same kind of crisis that has always affected capitalism & can be overcome with a devaluation of capital)

    2. Energy crisis (peakoil) - the demand for oil has reached the point where supply is stretched & prices increase which then impact productivity (this is why Keynesian borrowing from future generations won't work this time)

    3. Supply-side constraints - this includes the energy crisis but extends to the supply of peasant labour & other raw materails (this is the loot that Luxemburg refers to; free inputs into the circuit of capital); this also extends to the ecological crisis

    All this is not to say that capitalism's end is certain, rather the choice is Socialism or Barbarism.

    Number of posts : 341
    Group : Réseau Luxemburgiste International/International Luxemburgit Network
    Website :
    Registration date : 2008-04-16

    Re: The causes & nature of the economic crisis

    Post  ElIndio on Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:54 pm

    Hi Duvinrouge, welcome to the forum.

    As you can see, there have been several discussions in the forum on the crisis ( and the position of Rosa Luxemburg on it is not share by everyone here (which in itself is a good thing).

    Such a debate is important seen what is going on today an I am glad that exists in the forum. It would however also be great to make the whole thing accessible to newcomers and for that I had proposed creating a reading group. At the moment, I try to study Capital and afterwards The Accumulation of Capital, and what I have read has proven to be quite useful, especially for a student like be "well educated" into neo-classic theories (I am an accountant and never ever did they tell us that marginalism - nor was the term mentionned - was a mere theory like any other, on the contrary it was presented as the sole truth).

    Reading the beginning of Capital, and knowing the marginalist theories, I do think that the blindness on value helps explain why official economists do not understand what is going in this crisis. Like Rosa Luxemburg explain in her Introduction to political economy, crisis are presented as natural disasters, that is events we have no control over and all we can do is to wait for the hurricane to leave. That is what is being repeated to colleagues at work, thus justifying firing people.

    On the contrary, we must encourage self-education in a forum such as this, and contribute on de-mystifying economics. It would be not only that Socialism is necessary but that it is the only option to chaos.

    Regaring your listing of potential explanation of the crisis (over-production, energy crisis and supply-side contraints) do you believe there is a contradiction between Marx's theory of the fall of the rate of profit and Luxemburg's theory the looting of non-capitalist markets/world ?

    As for myself (before reading the concerned chapters in Capital) I do not see any contradiction, just like the comrade Luxemburguista in the thread, both being linked (a drop of the rate of profit can be compensated by conquering new pre-capitalist markets, the further advance in thechnology and the capitalist development forces capitalism to expand in order to avoid the drop... untill it has no more market left and the rate decreases and then loans appear by magic to increase worker's consumption untill the system runs out of source of value in order to keep growing)

    Among the recent attempts to make Luxemburg's theory more accessible (actually is the only example I know), there is a leaflet written by a comrade of the International Luxemburgist Network For a worker's recovery plan : the causes an cure of a new Great Depression

      Current date/time is Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:32 pm