Top Menu

Subjects Archives: Stagnation

The Challenge Before the Latin American Left

  The Left upsurge in Latin America appears to be abating.  In October 2015 Jimmy Morales, the conservative candidate in Guatemala, defeated the Left-leaning Sandra Torres in the presidential elections.  On November 22, Mauricio Macri, the conservative presidential candidate in Argentina, defeated Daniel Scioli, his Peronist rival, by a narrow margin, to bring to an […]

Continue Reading

Ellen Meiksins Wood: Some Personal Recollections

In my graduate class on Political Economy at the University of Oregon this term we are reading two books by Ellen Meiksins Wood: The Retreat from Class and Democracy Against Capitalism.  Tomorrow, when the class meets, I will have to inform the students of Ellen’s death on January 14.  I have been thinking about what […]

Continue Reading

The Liberals and Inequality, Then and Now

Articles on income equality sometimes note that the U.S. economy hasn’t faced the current level of disparity since 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression.  There has been much less discussion of the responses to the issue back then, even though income inequality was a major concern for policymakers as the Depression deepened and […]

Continue Reading

Unending Hard Times: Whose Is the Toil and Whose Is the Wealth?

John Bellamy Foster and Robert W McChesney.  The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China.  New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012; Kharagpur, India: Cornerstone Publications, 2013.  pp x + 227.  Rs 150. The secular decline of decadal average annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates of the […]

Continue Reading

Marxism, Ecological Civilization, and China

China’s leadership has called in recent years for the creation of a new “ecological civilization.”  Some have viewed this as a departure from Marxism and a concession to Western-style “ecological modernization.”  However, embedded in classical Marxism, as represented by the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, was a powerful ecological critique.  Marx explicitly defined […]

Continue Reading

Dissecting the Failure of Soviet “Socialism”

Michael A. Lebowitz.  The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted.  New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012.  222 p. In current discussions of twenty-first century socialism, the work of Michael Lebowitz has a unique merit: it is rooted in the experience of Cuba and Venezuela, where efforts in recent decades to move toward […]

Continue Reading

A Dictionary of American Free Enterprise

Arms Sales A government jobs program (the lone acceptable government jobs program) working to deliver all the latest in U.S. defense industry hardware to all the international “good guys.” Associate A low-wage worker. Bubble (Financial) The artificial inflation of asset prices, which, although appearing to many of the “smartest people in the room” as if […]

Continue Reading

The Mad Activist Comes in from the Cold

You want to know why I’m nuts, Doctor?  I’m part of the lunatic left, that’s why. My delusions of intellectual grandeur are great enough to make me believe that I can actually comprehend the bombings, the embargoes, the torture — all wrought by the good old US of A — while everybody else goes shopping.  […]

Continue Reading

The Spectre of Social Counter-Revolution

5th Dr. BR Ambedkar Memorial Lecture, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi, September 27, 2014 I I would like to use this occasion to dwell upon a point to which Dr Ambedkar had drawn attention in his closing speech to the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949.  In that speech he had underscored a […]

Continue Reading

Socialism and Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises

​Global capitalism has huge problems coping with the second worst collapse in its history. Its extreme and deepening inequalities have provoked millions to question and challenge capitalism. Yet socialists of all sorts now find it more difficult than ever to make effective criticisms and offer alternatives that inspire. Part of the problem lies with classic […]

Continue Reading

Explaining Stagnation: Why It Matters

Larry Summers and Paul Krugman have recently identified the phenomenon of stagnation.  Given that they are giants in today’s economic policy conversation, their views have naturally received enormous attention.  That attention is very welcome because the issue is so important.  However, there is also a danger that their dominance risks crowding out other explanations of […]

Continue Reading

“The Death of Social Democracy in the Age of Global Monopoly-Finance Capital”: An Interview with John Bellamy Foster

Tassos Tsakiroglou: How urgent do you consider the necessity to develop an understanding of the interconnections between the deepening impasse of the capitalist economy and the rapidly accelerating ecological threat? John Bellamy Foster: The urgency of understanding the interconnections between the economic impassse and the ecological emergency derives from the combined threats they pose to […]

Continue Reading

Crises of Capitalism and Social Democracy

  John Bellamy Foster is best-known as author of Marx’s Ecology (2000; in which he corrects the popular misapprehension that Marx did not ‘get’ environmental limits), and as editor of Monthly Review (monthlyreview.org), the journal founded by Marxist economist Paul Sweezy in the late 1940s.  In his latest book, The Endless Crisis (2012; written with […]

Continue Reading