The Economic Crisis and Why Capitalism Produces Crises

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Outline: Capitalist crisis/es

Introduction: What is it all about?

  1. Main stream presentation of the recent successive and current crises
  2. So, main stream responses...
  3. ... that we will question.

« Crisis/es », What is it? Global view

  1. Manifestation of crises
  2. Historical articulation : what is the « point of departure » ?
  3. Liberal interpretations of the « self-regulating market » ( J.B.Say's law).
  4. Marx' and Keynes' common criticism of “Says's law”...and their internal differences.

Marxist analysis of crises. Basic notions.

  1. Different types of crises of capitalism: approaches based on the anatomy (dissection) and on the history of the capitalist system.
    NB : A system has the crises expressing its substance...
  2. The long term history...
    1. Capitalism as a « World System » and « Permanent Revolution »
    2. The system's « long waves » ( E. Mandel)
  3. Some anatomy
    1. The cycle of capital.
    2. The main sources for crises.

Return to the current crisis/es, with this double approach (historical and anatomical)

  1. A crisis within the whole history and succession of structural crises...
  2. Anatomy: A crisis in the heart of the real economy...integrating the financial sector.
    1. Producing for profits, no matter the social, human and ecological costs.
    2. Interlocked crises...coming from the very essence and from the history of the system

Questions for language groups

Suggestions for discussions (to choose... in addition to clarifying questions)

On the notions

  • If crises are interruptions or slowdowns of the « growth », during an increase in growth, does this mean that everything « goes fine »?
  • When it is said that there is a « crisis of overproduction » (where there is more supply than demand), does this signify that there is overloading of the needs?
  • The experiences from countries with centralised planning have been with high levels of costs and waste. Does market competition not permit a reduction in costs?

On the challenges of the current crisis/es

  • Is a return to 'The Thirty Glorious Years » - or other regulations of capitalism – possible?
  • Which resistances inside / against the system?

Readings