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This chapter presents a brief description of the development of capitalism in Argentina, focusing on the situation of the working class and its practices. It analyzes the…
This chapter presents a brief description of the development of capitalism in Argentina, focusing on the situation of the working class and its practices. It analyzes the relationship between the main directions of capitalist development and the means of struggle used by the working class for more than a hundred years. It describes the predominant tendencies (in breadth and depth) of the development of capitalism in Argentina and the consequent main direction of the movement of the population (attraction or repulsion) in relation to capitalist relations. From the nineteenth century to the mid-seventies of the twentieth century, capitalism developed mainly in breadth, incorporating population, general strikes became a frequent practice and workers achieved a place in the institutional system. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, capitalist developed mainly in depth and, consequently, repulsion of population became dominant, increasing unemployment and poverty. Workers’ organizations lost some of their strength, but new organizations of the unemployed and the poor emerged, and roadblocks extended as an instrument of struggle.
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.
There exist long-term fluctuations in the process of capital accumulation. The economic long wave is an essential part of research into non-mainstream western economics. After the Second World War, the capitalist world experienced the fourth long wave of expansion and then entered into a downward phase of the long wave in the 1970s. Regarding to whether a new long wave of expansion took place in the 1980s, left-wing scholars hold different viewpoints. The purpose of this paper is to focus on this issue.
First, based on the review of the long wave history, this paper discusses three kinds of long wave theories with significant influence and puts forward the theoretical framework of analyzing the long wave of capitalist economy. Next, under the guidance of this theoretical framework and in combination with the actual development and evolution of the capitalist economy, the issue of whether the fifth long wave of the capitalist economy began to emerge in the 1980s is discussed deeply.
This paper argues that, from the early 1980s to 2007, the US-dominated developed countries experienced a new long wave of expansion driven by the information technology revolution, the adjustment of the neoliberalism system and the economic globalization. However, the financial-economic crisis of 2008–2009 led to a new phase of long wave downswing.
This paper does not agree with the single-factor analysis of the intrinsic formation mechanism of economic long wave and sticks to the multi-factor analysis centering on the fluctuation of accumulation rate. It is pointed out that the evolution of the long wave of capitalist economy depends on the combined influence of technology, institutions and market. The study of the long wave of the economy will help us to correctly understand the historical stage and characteristics of the current world capitalist economy in the long-term fluctuations, so that we can make an appropriate and positive response.
This paper examines the recent process of transformation within the World Bank as a series of reactive mediations to the crisis-laden course of capitalist development on a…
This paper examines the recent process of transformation within the World Bank as a series of reactive mediations to the crisis-laden course of capitalist development on a global scale over the last two decades. Two aspects of the Bank’s attempt to construct a new development agenda as a response to contradictions emergent within neoliberal-style social restructuring are highlighted. First, it has embraced the theoretical trends and policy implications of institutional economics. Second, it has refashioned its relations with client countries and their civil societies under the rubrics of “ownership,” “participation” and “empowerment.” The paper proceeds to indicate why the Bank’s current reformulation of development theory presents itself within mainstream theoretical paradigms as an appropriate prescription to counter the crisis of neoliberal-style social restructuring. Concurrently, on the basis of a materialist critique of capitalist development, the paper proceeds to indicate the substantive limits to these present reforms by indicating their theoretical weaknesses and their practical contradictions.
This book is a policy proposal aimed at the democratic left. It is concerned with gradual but radical reform of the socio‐economic system. An integrated policy of…
This book is a policy proposal aimed at the democratic left. It is concerned with gradual but radical reform of the socio‐economic system. An integrated policy of industrial and economic democracy, which centres around the establishment of a new sector of employee‐controlled enterprises, is presented. The proposal would retain the mix‐ed economy, but transform it into a much better “mixture”, with increased employee‐power in all sectors. While there is much of enduring value in our liberal western way of life, gross inequalities of wealth and power persist in our society.
The purpose of this second part of this special issue is to contribute to a better understanding of the nature of Soviet society. It is not possible to analyse such a…
The purpose of this second part of this special issue is to contribute to a better understanding of the nature of Soviet society. It is not possible to analyse such a society in all its complexities within the space of one study. There are, however, some economic relations which determine society's major features. We believe that commodity‐production relations in the Soviet Union are of this type.
It was not until the late 1960s that housing attracted much attention from academic social scientists. Since that time the literature has expanded widely and diversified, establishing housing with a specialised status in economics, sociology, politics, and in related subjects. As we would expect, the new literature covers a technical, statistical, theoretical, ideological, and historical range. Housing studies have not been conceived and interpreted in a monolithic way, with generally accepted concepts and principles, or with uniformly fixed and precise methodological approaches. Instead, some studies have been derived selectively from diverse bases in conventional theories in economics or sociology, or politics. Others have their origins in less conventional social theory, including neo‐Marxist theory which has had a wider intellectual following in the modern democracies since the mid‐1970s. With all this diversity, and in a context where ideological positions compete, housing studies have consequently left in their wake some significant controversies and some gaps in evaluative perspective. In short, the new housing intellectuals have written from personal commitments to particular cognitive, theoretical, ideological, and national positions and experiences. This present piece of writing takes up the two main themes which have emerged in the recent literature. These themes are first, questions relating to building and developing housing theory, and, second, the issue of how we are to conceptualise housing and relate it to policy studies. We shall be arguing that the two themes are closely related: in order to create a useful housing theory we must have awareness and understanding of housing practice and the nature of housing.
China’s unprecedented emergence as an economic and political power has created a new geopolitical economy for semi-industrialised and developing economies in Southeast…
China’s unprecedented emergence as an economic and political power has created a new geopolitical economy for semi-industrialised and developing economies in Southeast Asia. This paper examines China’s trade relationships with Thailand and Indonesia using the concepts of uneven and combined development (UCD) and unequal exchange. The mass of surplus value obtained through China’s trade with the developed economies has flowed into the considerable expansion in China’s imports from developing countries since 2000. China has maintained a consistent trade deficit with the latter. While the developing countries concerned have benefitted from this set of relationships, the extent to which they have done so has been determined by national strategies. In countries like Thailand – where manufacturing capital and a significant working class has emerged – exports expanded on the basis of mutually advantageous technologically and skills intensive goods. These are produced with a similar organic composition of capital as in China. The result has been a further consolidation of the hegemony of manufacturing capital. Indonesia, however, has a political system and economy long dominated by resource exploitation linked fractions of capital. The result has been a surge in primary goods exports. The current commodity price cycle has meant these goods exchange at prices above their value. The current looming price correction, however, may have negative repercussions. In the meantime, the concentration in raw materials exports is helping to prevent the emergence of a circuit of productive capital in manufacturing. The evidence from these contrasting cases suggests that the degree to which developing economies can benefit from China’s own historically unparalleled combined development remains highly contingent on the strength of the combined development possibilities and efforts within these other national social formations. Above all, there is the degree to which manufacturing sectors of capital can obtain hegemony.
While working on the final draft of Das Kapital Volume I, Marx discovered that the assumption that he had previously held: as it circulated capital extended its sphere of…
While working on the final draft of Das Kapital Volume I, Marx discovered that the assumption that he had previously held: as it circulated capital extended its sphere of operation and at the same time absorbed earlier forms of economic organization was not supported by empirical evidence. From 1869 he began to study how in fact capital began to circulate in Russia, a country which had begun to create a capitalist economy after the liberation of the peasantry in 1861. Marx was aided in this project by Nikolai Danielson, who sent him materials on the Russian economy and who himself made a study of contemporary trends in Russian economic development. Marx contributed to the article Danielson published in 1880 on this subject. One of the works Marx acquired was the book by Vorontsov, who concurred with Danielson that only some features of capitalism were present in the Russian economy and that peasants were dispossessed without being re-deployed in capitalist enterprises. Marx died without incorporating his Russian material into the second volume of Das Kapital. Engels failed to see any problem with the circulation of capital and published the manuscripts as he found them, dispersing Marx’s Russian materials. Unlike Danielson, Engels was convinced that Russia’s economic development did not differ in any way from that of Western Europe, a conviction shared by Plekhanov and Lenin, who classed Danielson and Vorontsov as “narodniki.” Lenin’s book The Development of Capitalism in Russia is a polemic against Danielson and Vorontsov, but does not directly address the points they made.