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A New Approach to Applying Marx’s Value Theory and Its Implications for Socialist Strategy
Author: 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.
‘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.
Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia
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.
Wage Disparity under Capitalist Competition
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.

In: Persistent Inequalities
In: Persistent Inequalities
In: Persistent Inequalities
In: Persistent Inequalities
In: Persistent Inequalities
In: Persistent Inequalities