Inflation and financial risk

9 May 2021 — Michael Roberts Blog

Is inflation coming back in the major capitalist economies?  As the US economy (in particular) and other major economies begin to rebound from the COVID slump of 2020, the talk among mainstream economists is whether inflation in the prices for goods and services in those economies is going to accelerate to the point where central banks have to tighten monetary policy (ie stop injecting credit into the banking system and raise interest rates).  And if that were to happen, would it cause a collapse in the stock and bond markets and bankruptcies for many weaker companies as the cost of servicing corporate debt rises?

Continue reading

The Ideology of Late Imperialism

1 March 2021 — Monthly Review

The Return of the Geopolitics of the Second International

Stuttgart Congress of the Second International 1907

Stuttgart Congress of the Second International, 1907.

In 1990, when renowned Indian Marxian economist Prabhat Patnaik asked “Whatever Happened to Imperialism?,” once vibrant and influential schools of theories on imperialism were at a postwar historic low.1 When he left the West to return to India in 1974, imperialism was at the center of all Marxist discussions. But when he came back to the West merely fifteen years later, imperialism already seemed out of fashion. After all, the end of the Soviet Union and liberals’ declaration of the end of history were near.

Continue reading

Breaking the glass screen – framing monopoly capitalism in global commodity chains

6 January 2021 — Monsoon Storms

PROLOGUE

In 2007 – a digital time not spatially long ago – a month before the iPhone was production scheduled, the late Steven Jobs took some of his staff to an office. He had been carrying a prototype of the device in his pocket daily for weeks.

Mr. Jobs angrily held up his iPhone so that everyone could see the dozens of tiny scratches marring its plastic screen. He then pulled his keys from his jeans.

People will carry this phone in their pocket, he was quoted to say.
“I won’t sell a product that gets scratched,” he said tensely.

The only solution was to use unscratchable glass instead.

“I want a glass screen, and I want it perfect in six weeks.”

(Duhigg, C and Bradsher, K. “How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work“, The New York Times, published January 21st., 2012).

Continue reading

Marx Didn’t Invent Socialism, Nor Did He Discover It

9 December 2020 — Internationalist 360°

Steve Lalla

https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/31cd2-1cu8zmelqf3xeiu9iavpxnw.jpeg

Revered as the Father of Socialism, in popular conception Karl Marx (1818–1883) is the originator of socialist theory, the creator of a plan implemented thereafter by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other socialist nations. He remains one of the most cited authors of all time, and his writings are endlessly scrutinized and analyzed. Was he standing on the shoulders of giants?

Continue reading

Engels’ pause and the condition of the working class in England

15 March 2020 — Michael Roberts Blog

by michael roberts

On this day, 15 March 1845, Friedrich Engels published his masterpiece of social analysis, The Condition of the Working Class in England.  This year is the 200th anniversary of Engels’ birth.  Below is a short (rough) extract from my upcoming book on the contribution that Engels made to Marxian political economy.  

Continue reading

Marxism and the Climate Crisis: African Eco-Socialist Alternatives

16 February, 2020 — MROnline

Originally published: ROAPE (Review of African Political Economy) by Vishwas Satgar (February 14, 2020)   |

Introducing an important book series on Democratic Marxism in Africa, Vishwas Satgar explains that the project is premised on a rejection of the authoritarianism of vanguardist politics and the need to learn critical lessons from all the left projects of the 20th century. There is a rich inheritance of emancipatory Marxism in Africa, which includes Frantz Fanon, Ruth First, Samir Amin, Sam Moyo, Harold Wolpe and many others. Today, Satgar argues, the challenge is to defeat carbon capitalism accelerating the climate crisis and fomenting exclusionary nationalisms and for this there has to be a return to Marx.

Continue reading

A Certain Stage of Development

13 January 2020 — Anticapital

1. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production, or–this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms–with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto.  From forms of development of the productive forces, these relations turn into their fetter.  Then begins an era of social revolution.

And the era of social counterrevolution.

Continue reading

Marx’s notebooks and the origins of Marxist ecology

18 August 2019 — Climate & Capitalism

Finally published in full, Marx’s notebooks from the 1860s provide important insights into his views on ecology and capital’s destruction of nature.


Teinosuke Otani, Kohei Saito, Timm Graßmann (eds)
MARX-ENGELS-GESAMTAUSGABE, IV, 18
Exzerpte und Notizen. Februar 1864 bis August 1868
(de Gruyter, 2019)

[Marx-Engels Complete Works, Part IV, Volume 18
Excerpts and Notes, February 1864 to August 1868]

Continue reading

The Handbook of Karl Marx: profitability, crises and financialisation

6 August 2019 — Michael Roberts Blog

The Oxford Handbook of Karl Marx, edited by Matt Vidal, Tomas Rotta, Tony Smith and Paul Prew, brings together a series of chapters by prominent Marxist scholars covering all aspects Marxist theory, from historical materialism, dialectics, political economy, social reproduction and post-capitalist models.

Continue reading