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Crisis, Marxism, and Economic Laws: A Response to Gary Mongiovi

Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism

ISBN: 978-1-78052-254-8, eISBN: 978-1-78052-255-5

Publication date: 7 November 2011


Gary Mongiovi accurately cites my thesis, presented in Freeman (2010a) (henceforth referred to as Positivist Marxism and abbreviated to PM), that “capitalism's inner laws express themselves in … different ways during booms and during crises” and that “When the business cycle is in an upswing … the tensions and contradictions that will eventually interrupt the process of capital accumulation are camouflaged by the commodity form, and so appear as natural laws of motion.” He also expresses general agreement with this thesis, but complains that the way I present it is “marred by a gratuitous methodological argument” which is “misleading and therefore stand[s] in the way of productive discussion.” The methodological argument in question is that no theory based on the method of static equilibrium can provide an explanation of endogenous capitalist crisis; this is the main issue I address in this response. PM applies this argument in order to examine a theoretical current that dominates Western, academic, Marxism. This current interprets Marx's theory as a variant of general equilibrium. In this response I refer to it as simultaneist Marxism (SM).


Freeman, A. (2011), "Crisis, Marxism, and Economic Laws: A Response to Gary Mongiovi", Zarembka, P. and Desai, R. (Ed.) Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism (Research in Political Economy, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 285-296.



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