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The Falling Rate of Profit and the Great Recession of 2007-2009

A New Approach to Applying Marx’s Value Theory and Its Implications for Socialist Strategy

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Peter Jones

In The Falling Rate of Profit and the Great Recession of 2007-2009, Peter Jones develops a new non-equilibrium interpretation of the labour theory of value Karl Marx builds in Capital. Applying this to US national accounting data, Jones shows that when measured correctly the profit rate falls in the lead up to the Great Recession, and for the main reason Marx identifies: the rising organic composition of capital.
Jones also details a new theory of finance, which shows how cycles in the profit rate relate to stock market booms and slumps, and movements in the interest rate. He discusses the implications of the analysis and Marx and Engels’ work generally for a democratic socialist strategy.

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Paresh Chattopadhyay

‘Socialism’ is a word that is now habitually taken to refer to a particular social system that prevailed in different parts of the globe during the twentieth century. This system was defined primarily by single-party rule with public (mainly state) ownership of the means of production along with a centrally planned economy. Its material base was generalised commodity production. The spokespersons of this system claim that this socialism was derived from Marx.

Paresh Chattopadhyay’s Socialism and Commodity Production argues the falsity of this claim. On the basis of a comprehensive study of Marx's own texts, as well as a detailed engagement with a wide variety of theorists of socialist economics, it shows that Marx's socialism constituted an ‘Association’ of free individuals in which private ownership, the commodity, wage labour and the state have no place.

Imagining Russian Regions

Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia

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Susan Smith-Peter

In Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia, Susan Smith-Peter shows how ideas of civil society encouraged the growth of subnational identity in Russia before 1861. Adam Smith and G.W.F. Hegel’s ideas of civil society influenced Russians and the resulting plans to stimulate the growth of civil society also formed subnational identities.

It challenges the view of the provinces as empty space held by Nikolai Gogol, who rejected the new non-noble provincial identity and welcomed a noble-only district identity. By 1861, these non-noble and noble publics would come together to form a multi-estate provincial civil society whose promise was not fulfilled due to the decision of the government to keep the peasant estate institutionally separate.

Persistent Inequalities

Wage Disparity under Capitalist Competition

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Howard Botwinick

Economists generally assume that wage differentials among similar workers will only endure when competition in the capital and/or labor market is restricted. In contrast, Howard Botwinick uses a classical Marxist analysis of real capitalist competition to show that substantial patterns of wage disparity can persist despite high levels of competition. Indeed, the author provocatively argues that competition and technical change often militate against wage equalization. In addition to providing the basis for a more unified analysis of race and gender inequality within labor markets, Botwinick’s work has important implications for contemporary union strategies. Going against mainstream proponents of labor-management cooperation, the author calls for militant union organization that can once again take wages and working conditions out of capitalist competition.

This revised edition was originally published under the same title in 1993 by Princeton University Press.

Splendour, Misery, and Possibilities

An X-Ray of Socialist Yugoslavia

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Darko Suvin

Suvin’s ‘X-Ray’ of Socialist Yugoslavia offers an indispensable overview of a unique and often overlooked twentieth-century socialism. It shows that the plebeian surge of revolutionary self-determination was halted in SFR Yugoslavia by 1965; that between 1965– 72 there was a confused and hidden but still open-ended clash; and that by 1972 the oligarchy in power was closed and static, leading to failure. The underlying reasons of this failure are analysed in a melding of semiotics and political history, which points beyond Yugoslavia – including its achievements and degeneration – to show how political and economic democracy fail when pursued in isolation. The emphasis on socialist Yugoslavia is at various points embedded into a wider historical and theoretical frame, including Left debates about the party, sociological debates about classes, and Marx’s great foray against a religious State doctrine in The Jewish Question.

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Edited by Fang Cai

Transforming the Chinese Economy is a translated collection of articles providing a look at how scholars in China have been assessing their country's recent economic history. This volume, as well as the others in the SSRC series, provide western scholars with an accessible English language look at the state of current Chinese scholarship, and as such, do not simply provide information for the direct study of economic issues, but also for meta-level analysis of the interplay of China's policy, scholarship, and economy. Specifc topics include banking and finance, inequality of growth, and women's role in the workforce.
Gubernatorial Reports of Russian Imperial Governors, 1855-1864

For the first time permission has been granted to microfiche large archival collections of the Central State Historical Archive (RgIA) in St. Petersburg. In September 1995 IDC signed a long-term exclusive agreement with Dr. Vladimir V. Lapin, Director of the RgIA, to microfiche important sections from these fascinating historical archives. As a first project, the Gubernatorial Reports of Russian Imperial Governors for the period 1855 -1864 have been selected. This project has been prepared in cooperation with Prof. Paul Bushkovitch of the History Department at Yale University and Tanja Lorkovic, curator of Slavic and East European Collection, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. Both have spent considerable time at the Archives in St. Petersburg making proper selections and arranging with the archivists all the necessary details with respect to the preparation and organization of materials for filming.

The Gubernatorial Reports
The reports of the provincial governors of the Russian Empire in the nineteenth century, dispatched annually to the Ministry of the Interior and ultimately to the Tsar himself, are a fundamental source for research on all aspects of the history of Russia. From their inception in 1804 until their cessation during the revolution of 1917, these reports documented economic changes, political events, and popular disturbances, as well as the actions of provincial administration. In them, an unparalleled first-hand contemporary account of life and politics in Tsarist Russia is preserved. The reports are voluminous (sometimes filling 1,000 folios in one year), largely because of the fastidious detail which the central authorities in St. Petersburg demanded. The resulting documents not only provide a unique glimpse of provincial life, but a record of the workings of the attempt to implement state policy on the provincial level. The task of administering decisions made in the faraway capital was daunting, and the reports vividly portray the governors attempts to enforce often abstract and ill-conceived mandates handed to them by a distant bureaucracy, and the governors attempts in turn to influence the center. Governors reports were made obligatory in 1804, and formalised in 1828 by the addition of rules for the compilation of the reports. Up until 1837, not all governors reported and not always regularly. New rules for preparing the reports came out in that year, according to which one copy went to the Tsar, one to the Minister of the Interior, one to the Governor general (if there was one in the area), and one remained in the province. In 1842 this was changed to a unified form of governors report with 27 obligatory groups of statistical information in the appendix. This model was changed somewhat in 1853, but the obligatory 27 tables remained. In the era of Tsar Nicholas the governors reports were extraordinarily uniform, with the result that they became rather formal. In 1870 the form of the reports was relaxed, but as an appendix a survey of the province was required that consisted of both text and tables. The report included the main events and evaluations, while the survey (which the provincial statistical committees compiled) had statistical information and a general description of the province. The Tsar himself read the reports and made marginal comments in his own hand. The Committee of Ministers reviewed these comments in order to ensure that the appropriate measures were taken. Until the 1880s, the reports were handwritten, but the surveys were printed typographically (15 to 220 copies). In subsequent years the reports were also printed (up to 50 copies). The reports for 1837-1916, however, did not come in so regularly and thus have not been fully preserved. There are also lacunae as a result of wars and the revolution of 1905. The originals of the reports are kept in the Central State Historical Archive (St. Petersburg), in the fonds of the Committee and Council of Ministers. The copies are stored in the fonds of the Council of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, so that where the originals are missing the copies can be used.

The microfiche project first stage
The Yale/IDC project does not plan to film all of the reports at once but rather filming initial parts of the archive selected by the advisors of the project. The first part which is now available, is the period of Great Reform 1855-1864, containing the following guberniias:
• Arkhangel'skaia guberniia
• Ekaterinoslavskaia guberniia
• laroslavskaia guberniia
• Kazanskaia guberniia
• Moskovskaia guberniia
• Nizhegorodskaia guberniia
• Novgorodskaia guberniia
• Peterburgskaia guberniia
• Permskaia guberniia
• Saratovskaia guberniia
• Tobol'skaia guberniia
• Voronezhskaia guberniia
The gubernias have been selected on different aspects such as industrial, importance.

Further stages of the project
A second selection which has been made, and is now ready for filming, is the period 1905-1917, the Revolutionary Time. The same gubernias that have been selected for the first stage, will be included. Depending on the interest in this project, IDC will develop further selections, either of other entire provinces or other.

Various Authors & Editors

Regional Statistical Handbooks in the USSR

Collection contains a large number of regional statistical handbooks and other selected statistical materials ("sborniki", "spravochniki", etc.) in the fields of economics, finance, agriculture and transport.
Banking and Finance in Russia
Part 1: 1860-1917

This collection is based on an exhibition about the history of the financial and credit system in Russia, prepared by the State Historical Public Library in Moscow. It includes data concerning the formation and functioning of the financial system in Imperial Russia before the revolution in 1917 and covers the period of the "New Economic Policy" (NEP) in the 1920s.

This collection is also included in the Banking and Finance in Russia collection.
Banking and Finance in Russia
Part 2: 1917-1930

This collection is based on an exhibition about the history of the financial and credit system in Russia, prepared by the State Historical Public Library in Moscow. It includes data concerning the formation and functioning of the financial system in Imperial Russia before the revolution in 1917 and covers the period of the "New Economic Policy" (NEP) in the 1920s.

This collection is also included in the Banking and Finance in Russia collection.