Subjects Archives: Economic Theory

  • Where Is the German Trade Union Movement and Where Is It Going?

      Germany is the world’s leading exporter and the third largest industrial economy, following Japan and the United States.  German multi-nationals are drowning in supreme opulence, yet the wages of German workers remain severely depressed.  The Wall Street Journal, engaging in low-intensity class struggle labor journalism, confirmed in its January article “German Unions See Leverage […]

  • Marxism and Religion

    Annual Fundraising Appeal Friends of MRZine and Monthly Review! The continuing existence of MRZine and Monthly Review depends on the support of our readers.  Unlike many other publications, we make all new Monthly Review articles, as well as MRZine articles, available online, free of charge.  We do so without drawing any advertising money at all […]

  • Act Now to Save Net Neutrality

      Annual Fundraising AppealFriends of MRZine and Monthly Review! The continuing existence of MRZine and Monthly Review depends on the support of our readers.  Unlike many other publications, we make all new Monthly Review articles, as well as MRZine articles, available online, free of charge.  We do so without drawing any advertising money at all […]

  • A Thing with Transcendental Qualities: Money as a Social Relationship in Capitalism

    An Introduction to Marx’ Notion of Money What is money?  This question hardly plays a role in everyday commerce.  What matters is that there is enough.  Bourgeois economic theories reduce money to its economic function.  But the ubiquity of money is fateful and presupposes certain conditions.  Hence, the critique of financial markets is incomplete when […]

  • When Economists Didn’t Buy the Free Market. . . : An Interview with Michael Perelman

    RAILROADING ECONOMICS: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology by Michael PerelmanBUY THIS BOOKRead Michael Perelman’s blog: UNSETTLING ECONOMICS: A Progressive Look at Economics and the Rest of the Screwed Up World. Michael Perlman is a longtime professor of economics at California State University, Chico.  A prolific author, his newest book is titled Railroading Economics: […]

  • All the Economics You Need to Know in One Lesson

      CHEAP MOTELS AND A HOTPLATE: An Economist’s Travelogue by Michael D. Yates ORDER THIS BOOK This essay complements my forthcoming book: Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate: an Economist’s Travelogue (Monthly Review Press). We Meet an Economist Karen and I were hiking in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the Atalaya Mountain Trail, which begins […]

  • Michael Perelman in Sacramento

    Railroading Economics: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology Monday, October 16, 2006, 7 PM Sierra 2 Center, Room 10 2791 24th Street, Sacramento Michael Perelman‘s new book, Railroading Economics: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology, examines the rhetoric of conventional economic theory, which assumes a “pure capitalism of perfect competition.”  He explores how […]

  • Railroading Economics: Michael Perelman’s Call for “the End of Economics”

      Michael Perelman, Railroading Economics: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology, Monthly Review Press, 2006, 238 pages, $20.00 RAILROADING ECONOMICS: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology by Michael Perelman BUY THIS BOOK Railroading Economics by Michael Perelman is an indictment of economists.  But the indictment is not, thankfully, the familiar rehearsal of untenable […]

  • Appraising the Bamako Appeal: A Contribution to the Debate

    1. Introduction This commentary is offered as a contribution to the ongoing debate on the Bamako Appeal.  On the 18th of January, on the day preceding the start of the Polycentric World Social Forum in Bamako, Mali, a conference was held in the same capital, commemorating the holding of the Bandung Conference 50 years back.  […]

  • Game Show Theory: Race, Class, and Survivor

    It was Jay Gould who once bragged that he could pay half the working class to kill the other half.  In American labor history, that often meant fomenting and exploiting racism to divide and conquer.  Apparently, CBS wants to give us a TV metaphor for it: it announced that the contestants on the upcoming season […]

  • When Will the AFL-CIO Leadership Quit Blaming the Chinese Government for Multinational Corporate Decisions, US Government Policies, and US Labor Leaders’ Inept Reponses?

    The AFL-CIO has just formally petitioned the Bush Administration to “take immediate action to stop exploitation by the Chinese government and multinational corporations of workers in China, who are paid as little as 15 cents per hour”  (AFL-CIO, “AFL-CIO Files Workers’ Rights Case Against China ,” Press Release, June 8, 2006).  It appears that the […]

  • The Fallout from Falling US Wages

    Real wages in the US rose during every decade from 1830 to 1970.  Then this central feature of US capitalism stopped as the figures below show: Source: Labor Research Associates of New York based on data from the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; wages expressed in constant 1982 dollars. 1964 $302.52 1974 […]

  • Whither Nepal?

    Faced with an explosion of pro-democracy strikes and mass demonstrations, Nepal’s King Gyanendra was forced to reinstate parliament last week. Gyanendra had abolished parliament in October 2002 and seized absolute control in February 2005, but his attempts to regain his grip through repression last month only sparked further rebellion. On April 28, the Seven-Party Alliance […]

  • A Note on Immigration and the U.S. Workers [Una nota sobre la inmigración y los trabajadores estadounidenses]

    Si el pueblo trabajador en Estados Unidos ha de alcanzar unidad, autoconfianza colectiva e independencia política en el futuro próximo (¡y cuanto nos hacen falta!), la demanda del movimiento de los trabajadores inmigrantes de derechos plenos debe ser el primer punto en su agenda.  El pueblo trabajador en este país necesita darse cuenta de lo […]

  • Spinning Out of Control: Disney’s Grand Canyon and Teddy Roosevelt

    The spin-doctors at the right-wing Cato Institute are spinning out of control.  In a syndicated editorial (Houston Chronicle, 27 February 2006), these stalwart advocates of the privatization of almost everything in heaven and earth suggest that selling (or giving — they’re not clear on this point) the Grand Canyon National Park to the Walt Disney […]

  • Homo Economicus vs. Aam Aadmi: Crisis of Democracy

      During the twentieth century, there were two major shifts in mainstream economic thinking.  These two major changes were the Keynesian revolution of the 1930s and the return of orthodoxy on the back of the Rational Expectation and Monetarist school in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Each of the shifts was preceded by a […]

  • Bolivia: Elections and Left Strategy

    The small Andean nation hit the news again on October 31, 2005 with the announcement that elections originally scheduled for December 2005 were to be postponed indefinitely. This most recent political crisis was orchestrated by the agro-industrialist elite from Santa Cruz, who are using procedural rules to thwart the move towards the deepening of democracy. […]

  • 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 […]

  • In Patents We Trust: How the U.S. Government Learned to Stop Worrying about Monopoly and Love Intellectual Property

    Today, patents supposedly exist to provide an incentive for new discoveries. Patents had a different purpose at their origin. When the Venetians invented what today we would call intellectual property in the fifteenth century, governments openly treated it as an element of state power.  Workers could enjoy monopolistic privileges only if they continued to strengthen […]

  • Neo-colonialism — a Palestinian Nightmare

    The Israeli occupation of Gaza Strip didn’t end — it merely changed form. With the completion of the Israeli army withdrawal from Gaza Strip, and the eviction of all the settlers from there, its occupation has seemingly ended. And indeed, if by “occupation” we mean, as the Israeli establishment wants us to understand, a mere […]