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The new reading of Marx’s Capital. David F. Ruccio, University of Notre Dame Lattelecom International Conference: New Strategies in the New World (October 2011).

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The new reading of marx s capital

The new reading of Marx’s Capital

David F. Ruccio, University of Notre Dame

Lattelecom International Conference:

New Strategies in the New World (October 2011)


So Karl Marx, it seems, was partly right in arguing that globalization, financial intermediation run amok, and redistribution of income and wealth from labor to capital could lead capitalism to self-destruct.

NourielRoubini


Policy makers struggling to understand the barrage of financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of it.

George Magnus


Why financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of now?

After 30-year campaign to stamp out Marx —within the discipline of economics and in the wider society

Then, CRASH of 2008


Why financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of Marx?

  • Failure of mainstream economics

    • Didn’t predict the crash

    • Didn’t consider the possibility of a crash

    • Didn’t know what to do after the crash


Growing problems
Growing financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of problems

  • DEREGULATION and growth of finance

  • Housing BUBBLE

  • OUTSOURCING of jobs

  • DECLINE of labor unions


Plus financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of

Productivity-wage gap


Unequal financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of distribution of

income


And mainstream economists? financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of

Efficient markets

Inequality good for growth

just technology and globalization

[Also, no economic history or history of economic thought]


problems financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of worse since 2008. . .

  • high and persistent and long-term UNEMPLOYMENT

  • increasing POVERTY and food insecurity

  • STAGNANT WAGES and declining average incomes

recovery only in

PROFITS


Renewed interest in financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of MARX

UmairHaque

“Marx's critiques seem, today, more resonant than we might have guessed.”

“You don’t have to sleep in a Che Guevara T-shirt or throw rocks at McDonald’s to acknowledge that Marx’s thought is worth studying, grappling with, and possibly even applying to our current challenges.”

Peter Coy


But. . . financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of

  • They haven’t read Marx’s Capital

  • They haven’t read scholarly work on Marx’s Capital


Marx’s Critique of financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of

Political Economy

Alienation

Commodity fetishism

Immiseration

Crisis

Stagnation


Alienation
Alienation financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of

Marx argued that workers are divorced from the product of their labor. It confronts them as an alien power, something independent of them.

“Within the capitalist system all methods for raising the social productiveness of labor are brought about at the cost of the individual laborer; all means for the development of production transform themselves into means of domination over, and exploitation of, the producers; they mutilate the laborer into a fragment of a man, degrade him to the level of an appendage of a machine, destroy every remnant of charm in his work and turn it into a hated toil. . .; they transform his life-time into working-time, and drag his wife and child beneath the wheels of the Juggernaut of capital.”

Workers are forced to have the freedom to sell their labor power—in order to purchase food, clothing, shelter, health care, and higher education for their children.


Commodity fetishism
Commodity fetishism financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of

Homo economicusis not natural—as Adam Smith proclaimed—but historical and social. Freedom, equality, property, and Bentham must exist for commodity exchange to take place. As Marx puts it, “material relations between persons and social relations between things.”

Commodity exchange is stamped on all other identities. The logic of “the economy”—of private markets, balanced budgets, and economic austerity—is used to rule out all other concerns. Even more so in recent years.


Immiseration
Immiseration financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of

Capitalism would lead to the relative immiseration of workers. This was because laborers were exploited by capitalists and, as a result, the gap between labor and capital would grow.According to Marx, “as capital accumulates, the lot of the laborer, be his payment high or low, must grow worse.”

In the United States, wages have failed to keep pace with productivity for decades. (The median real wage has been stagnant since the mid-1970s, while productivity has soared.) In terms of the macroeconomy, labor's share of income has fallen, while the lion's share of income growth has accrued to those at the very top.


Crisis
Crisis financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of

According to Marx, “The ultimate reason for all real crises always remains the poverty and restricted consumption of the masses.” Capitalism would be prone to chronic, perpetual crises of overproduction—since workers wouldn't have the means to purchase enough goods to keep the economy growing. Money, the credit system, and capitalist competition create other possibilities for crisis.

For a while, workers attempted to compensate for stagnant wages by working longer hours, sending more household members out to work, and by going into debt. This led to even more production and a debt-fueled bubble in housing and finance, which eventually burst in 2007-08.


Stagnation
Stagnation financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of

Once a crisis occurred, both wages and capitalist profits would fall. A recovery of capitalism would only happen once enough capital was “slaughtered” and the rate of exploitation increased. Only then would the capitalists that survived begin to invest in more machinery, purchase more raw materials, and hire more workers.

Profits have, in fact, rebounded in both financial and nonfinancial sectors and, while capitalists are investing in new machinery, they have decided not to hire additional workers—at least not in the United States. The number of unemployed and underemployed American workers now stands at 26 million (16.2 percent of the labor force).


What if there had been a new reading of marx s capital
What financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of if there had been a new reading of Marx’s Capital?

  • Changes in economics: What should be taught? What should role of economists be?

  • Changes in the wider society: What are the costs of the crises and of the solution to the crises? What are the alternatives to stimulus and austerity?


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