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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2019

Karl Kautsky

This is the first English version of Karl Kautsky’s essay “Theories of Crises,” originally published in 1902 in Die neue Zeit, the theoretical organ of the Social…

Abstract

This is the first English version of Karl Kautsky’s essay “Theories of Crises,” originally published in 1902 in Die neue Zeit, the theoretical organ of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Kautsky’s essay was a review of Michael von Tugan-Baranowsky, Studien zur Theorie und Geschichte der Handelskrisen in England (Studies on the Theory and History of Commercial Crises in England), published in 1901. Kautsky’s review of Tugan-Baranovsky’s book is divided into five sections: (1) “Introductory Remarks”; (2) “The Decreasing Tendency of the Rate of Profit”; (3) The Explanation of Crises by Underconsumption; (4) Tugan-Baranovsky’s Theory of Crises; and (5) The Changes in the Character of Crises. We have translated in full the Sections 3 to 5.

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Class History and Class Practices in the Periphery of Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-592-5

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Book part
Publication date: 8 November 2010

Radhika Desai

This chapter challenges the denial of “underconsumption” – the role of consumption demand in capitalist reproduction and its paucity in crises – in contemporary Marxism…

Abstract

This chapter challenges the denial of “underconsumption” – the role of consumption demand in capitalist reproduction and its paucity in crises – in contemporary Marxism. At stake are better understandings not only of crisis theory but also, inter alia, of imperialism, “reformism,” and Marx's intellectual legacy. The chapter shows how the centrality of consumption demand is underlined in the three volumes of Capital and the Grundrisse, and goes on to discuss the origins, weaknesses, and persistence of this denial. The chapter also shows that Marx did not regard underconsumption as a moralistic argument about unfulfilled need. The denial originates not in Marx but in productionism, the idea that capitalism is a system of “production for production's sake.”

Originating in the overkill of Tugan Baranowski's refutation of the Russian populists’ view that capitalist development was impossible in Russia due to lack of a home market, productionism is based on his attempt to force Marxism into the marginalist and the general equilibrium framework. Despite its antipathy with Marxism, most contemporary Marxist economics are based on it. Inevitably its adherence to Say's Law – the denial of the possibility of gluts in the market – infects the tendency to assume that capitalism's contradictions do not lie in circulation. Productionism's denial of the importance of consumption demand also rests on nonsequiturs, nondialectical thinking, and an underestimation of the contradictions in capitalism Marx identified, other than the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. The chapter ends by showing the centrality of demand in the recent historical evolution of capitalism as reconstructed by Robert Brenner, followed by a discussion of whether underconsumption is “reformist.”

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The National Question and the Question of Crisis
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-493-2

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Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2004

Clark Everling

This paper traces the path of Marxism in the 20th century with special focus upon its place within political economy. It argues that the emphasis upon Marxism as a…

Abstract

This paper traces the path of Marxism in the 20th century with special focus upon its place within political economy. It argues that the emphasis upon Marxism as a political economy has been directly connected to movement away from Marxism as a theory of class struggle. It begins by establishing how and why, in Marx’s view, all history is a history of class struggles and integrates this perspective with his work in Capital. It is argued that political economy was one of the things Marx was critiquing and that he was attempting to show political economy to be a product of capitalism rather than seeking to establish a Marxist political economy.

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Wisconsin "Government and Business" and the History of Heterodox Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-090-6

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The Current Global Recession
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-157-9

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Kyle Bruce

This paper explores the “proto-Keynesian” ideas of progressive members of the scientific management community with regard to micro- and macroeconomic planning/management.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the “proto-Keynesian” ideas of progressive members of the scientific management community with regard to micro- and macroeconomic planning/management.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a systematic exegetical analysis of articles published in a largely unexplored primary/archival source, the Bulletin of the Taylor Society between 1915 and 1934.

Findings

This paper surfaces a latent “proto-Keynesian” bedrock among progressive segments of the US management community that provides a more cogent explanation for the wholehearted reception, as well as the decisive impact, of Keynes’ ideas on US macroeconomic policy than do extant explanations in the history of economic thought. Further, it reveals that most of these progressive managers with views as to both cause of and solution for the 1930’s Depression were members of the Taylor Society, an epistemic community devoted to the ideas of Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of scientific management.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the small but growing corpus of revisionist management history that seeks to problematize the received wisdom about scientific management or Taylorism. Few, if any, management historians appreciate that F. W. Taylor provided the basic planning tools which if developed, could enhance humanity’s control over anarchic market forces and aid the construction of a society based on democratic and effective planning.

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Journal of Management History, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2019

Daniel Gaido and Darío Scattolini

This chapter is an introduction to the English version of Karl Kautsky’s essay “Theories of Crises,” which in turn is a review of Michael von Tugan-Baranowsky, Studien zur

Abstract

This chapter is an introduction to the English version of Karl Kautsky’s essay “Theories of Crises,” which in turn is a review of Michael von Tugan-Baranowsky, Studien zur Theorie und Geschichte der Handelskrisen in England (Studies on the Theory and History of Commercial Crises in England), published in 1901. The chapter contextualizes Kautsky’s essay in the framework of the ongoing revisionist controversy within the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Second International, and well as of the debate between Marxists and Populists in Russia.

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Class History and Class Practices in the Periphery of Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-592-5

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2000

Michael von Tugan-Baranowsky

Presentation of this theory. - The law of the tendential fall in the rate of profit. - Absolute overproduction of capital. - Relation between market stagnation and the…

Abstract

Presentation of this theory. - The law of the tendential fall in the rate of profit. - Absolute overproduction of capital. - Relation between market stagnation and the underconsumption of the masses. - Critique of the law of the falling rate of profit. - Lack of necessary relationship between the composition of capital and the rate of profit, proved on the basis of the theory of labor-value. - Marx's theory of surplus-value is untenable. - The essence of the problem of profit. - The problem of profit and the problem of value. - The origin of profit. - Reciprocal relations between the three component parts of social product. - The ethical factor in Marx's theory of surplus-value. - The law of development of capitalism and the conditions of its transformation into socialism.

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Value, Capitalist Dynamics and Money
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-572-7

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Book part
Publication date: 29 April 2013

Jose´ A. Tapia Granados

Theories of the business cycle can be classified into two main groups, exogenous and endogenous, according to the way they explain economic fluctuations – either as…

Abstract

Theories of the business cycle can be classified into two main groups, exogenous and endogenous, according to the way they explain economic fluctuations – either as responses of the economy to factors that are external (exogenous shocks) or as upturns and downturns of the economic system internally generated (by endogenous factors). In endogenous theories, investment is generally a key variable to explain the dynamic status of the economy. This essay examines the role of investment in endogenous theories. Two contrasting views on how changes in investment and profitability push the economy towards expansion or contraction are represented by the insights of Kalecki, Keynes, Matthews and Minsky versus those of Marx and Mitchell. Hyman Minsky claimed that investment ‘calls the tune’ to indicate that investment is the only variable not determined by other variables, so that future profits, investment and the dynamic status of the economy are determined by current investment and investment in the near past. However, this hypothesis does not appear to be supported by available empirical data for 251 quarters of the US economy. Statistical evidence rather supports the hypothesis of causality in the direction of profits determining investment and, in this way, leading the economy towards boom or bust.

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Contradictions: Finance, Greed, and Labor Unequally Paid
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-671-2

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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2019

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Class History and Class Practices in the Periphery of Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-592-5

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Economic Complexity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44451-433-2

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