Two classes, two responses to the crisis

1st June 2012 Socialist Action 0

By Nicky Dempsey

Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator for the Financial Times, has laid out a devastating critique of current government economic policy in Britain. In a widely-reported article titled ‘Cameron is consigning UK to stagnation’ he says it is a scandal that the government has cut its own investment, especially when it can in effect borrow for free, as real interest rates are at zero.

Photo by endiaferon

Europe’s economic crisis

19th May 2012 Socialist Action 0

By Jane West

As the Euro-crisis unfolds and Greece heads to new elections, the left party, Syriza is capturing the support of most of those in Greece who want to reject the austerity programme imposed by the EU.

It is striking that the impact of the world developments, and particularly the growth of the left in Latin America, has clearly interacted with this political leadership of resistance to austerity in Greece. It was recently reported in the Guardian, of Syriza’s leader, Alexis Tsipras: ‘one of his heroes is Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, with whom he shares the same birthday.’

Marxism and the Economic Crisis

27th April 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Nicky Dempsey

All societies based on social classes tend to produce surplus value, to a greater or less extent. The character of the society may be determined by which class receives the bulk of the surplus.

The economic and financial crisis that became apparent in 2007 and 2008 was located primarily in the imperialist centres, led by the United States. The crisis was engendered by a crisis of profitability, a reduction in the surplus available to the capitalist class. Economic policy since that time has been designed to restore as far as possible the greater proportion of that surplus to the capitalist class in the imperial centres.

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A serious work of Marxist economics – meeting on 11 July

9th July 2007 Socialist Action 0

First published: 9 July 2007

On 11 July there will be an opportunity to attend a meeting on a book summarising very serious work in Marxist economics – Andrew Kliman’s Reclaiming Marx’s Capital. The notice for the meeting is appended below, for those who wish to skip to it. But to understand its importance it is worth making some observations on the developments which led to it.

It is a truism of Marxism that theory has a relative autonomy from the direct development of the class struggle. Both parts of that phrase, the autonomy and that it is relative and not absolute, are important.

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The choices for Russia – The economic programme of the Left Opposition, part 1

1st September 1999 Socialist Action 0

First published: Autumn 1991

This article was first published in Socialist Action in Autumn 1991. Its prognosis – that the reintroduction of capitalism would devastate those economies, reduce hundreds of millions of people to poverty and result in steps towards capitalist dictatorship – has been amply confirmed by events. The text is reproduced in full with only stylistic corrections.

Economic catastrophe is sweeping Eastern Europe and the former USSR with the reintroduction of capitalism. It is bringing the rise of racism, reactionary nationalism, and moves to capitalist dictatorship. Stalinism in Eastern Europe, by repelling the working classes from socialism, brought these countries to the brink of disaster. However, the subsequent assault on the working class and the violent moves of these societies to the right, which have accompanied the re-introduction of capitalism, completely discredited those in the West who believed that the events after 1989 in Eastern Europe – the introduction of capitalist governments – represented a way forward. Instead they confront the working class with the threat of the greatest defeats in its history and the unfolding of a period of unparalleled reaction in Europe – and internationally. In fighting the consequences of this for Eastern Europe and the former USSR the left, above all, needs an economic programme that both opposes the reintroduction of capitalism and is a planned alternative to the course launched by Stalinism. The most important of these historically was Trotsky’s economic policy for the Soviet Union – put forward directly against Stalin. This supplement outlines the economic positions of the Left Opposition in the USSR.