21 June 2012 — Counterfire
Mike Wayne is a Professor in Screen Media at Brunel University in London. His most recent book is Marx’s Das Kapital For Beginners.
The relevance of Marx’s Das Kapital to the modern capitalist world is once again getting a hearing. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the opening up of China to international capitalism, the political and economic elites declared that a new economic paradigm had arrived, bringing with it undreamt promises of wealth and consumer bliss as long as the market was left to do its own thing. Plenty of people listened to them. But their hubris and complacency rested on a massive historical amnesia that blinded them to an elementary truth borne out by nearly 400 years of history: namely that capitalism remains structurally prone to major economic crises.