Top Menu

Subjects Archives: Capitalism

Financial Capital: Crises Are Part of the Game

Everything went well during the summer of 2007.  The economy was in an upswing and stock-market prices rose even faster.  Then the end of the housing boom in the United States triggered an international financial crisis.  Up to now it has been contained by heavy central-bank intervention; but the euphoria is gone.  The world of […]

Continue Reading

New Element Discovered: Capitalisium

  A public university sociology department has recently announced the discovery of the most toxic element yet known to social science.  This new element has been named Capitalisium (Cp).  Capitalisium is a very volatile, dynamic, and toxic element, containing 1 positron, 1 neutron, and 1 huge electron along with boards of electrons, various vice electrons, […]

Continue Reading

Profit without End: Capitalism Is Just Getting Started

Debates concerning the “Socialism of the 21st Century” are experiencing an upswing at the moment.  However, this century will initially be rather one of capitalism than socialism.  Not because there is once more an economic recovery.  Prosperity and crisis alternate constantly in capitalism, but behind this up-and-down process are tendencies towards an extension and further […]

Continue Reading

Total Capitalism

  I recently received a circular from the Local Authority of the district in London where I live, which addressed me as a “customer.”  I should really be inured by now to neoliberalism’s relentless penetration of the “life world,” but it took me aback all the same.  I don’t buy anything from my local council; […]

Continue Reading

Capital and Nature: An Interview with Paul Burkett

1.  The year 2007 marks the 140th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Marx’s Capital.  In your perspective, what is the main contribution of that major work to the understanding of contemporary capitalism? Marx’s Capital establishes three essential contradictions of capitalism which grow in intensity as the system develops historically.  These contradictions […]

Continue Reading
Rick Wolff

Capitalism’s Three Oscillations and the US Today

Throughout its history and across its geography, capitalism has swung back and forth between private and state forms.  The former reduces while the latter enlarges the state’s intervention in the economy.  The economic events that precipitate swings (in both directions) have been various mixes of recession and widening inequality.  Political oscillations have paralleled the economic. […]

Continue Reading

Capital and Empire: An Interview with John Bellamy Foster

Q.  2007 is the 140th anniversary of the publication of Volume One of Marx’s Capital.  In your opinion, what is its main contribution to understanding contemporary capitalism? Marx’s object in Capital was to explain capital as a social relation in the fullest dialectical sense and in the process to describe its law(s) of motion.  I […]

Continue Reading
Rick Wolff

Globalization Risks and Costs

Critics have exposed how globalization’s benefits have been unequally distributed around the world.  Many of the world’s poorer regions have become poorer still in relation to the regions that gained.  And within regions, it turns out that globalization often worsens wealth and income inequalities.  However, critics admit and defenders boast that at least for some […]

Continue Reading

Class Struggle and Socialist Revolution in the Philippines: Understanding the Crisis of U.S. Hegemony, Arroyo State Terrorism, and Neoliberal Globalization

  Prodded by Amnesty International (AI), the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Asian Human Rights Commission, Reporters Without Borders, and other international organizations, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently cobbled a group to look into the allegations of massive human rights violations — over 729 victims of extrajudicial killings, and 180 involuntary “disappearances,” by the latest count — during her […]

Continue Reading
Michael Dawson

“Our” Real Addiction: Capitalist Waste in Transportation

“America is addicted to oil.”  Thus spake George W. Bush in his 2006 “State of the Union” speech. At first hearing, this sounds like a remarkable breakthrough in public discourse.  A sitting U.S. President admitting that the nation’s relationship to petroleum is one of addiction?  Sounds like a major advance in honesty, doesn’t it?  And, […]

Continue Reading
Change in Top Federal Tax Rates on Wealth and Work since 1980

US Pensions: Capitalist Disaster

The US pension systems for workers are now widespread disasters.  Many corporations and many cities and states lack the money to pay all the benefits they have promised and legally owe to present and future retirees.  Estimates of the shortfall range around $450 billion in the private sector plus at least another $300 billion in […]

Continue Reading
Capitalists & Conquerors

Fearless Speech in Fearful Times: An Essay Review of Capitalists and Conquerors, Teaching against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism, and Teaching Peter McLaren

  Capitalists and Conquerors: A Critical Pedagogy against Empire by Peter McLaren (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) Teaching against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism: A Critical Pedagogy by Peter McLaren and Ramin Farahmandpur (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) Teaching Peter McLaren: Paths of Dissent, by Marc Pruyn and Luis M. Huerta-Charles (New […]

Continue Reading
Rick Wolff

Personal Debts and US Capitalism

There is no precedent in US — or any other — history for the level of personal debt now carried by the American people. Consider the raw numbers. In 1974, Federal Reserve data show that US mortgage plus other consumer debt totaled $627 billion. By 1994, the total debt had risen to $4,206 billion, and […]

Continue Reading