In the fourth part of his series on the history and development of money, Adam Booth examines the factors lying behind inflation and explores the role of gold as the basis for an international monetary system. As the collapse of the gold standard - and more recently the european single currency - demonstrate, the contradictions of capitalism will eventually always come to the fore.

Wall Street_-_Public_Domain--PixabayIn the third part of his series on the history of money, Adam Booth looks at the growth of finance, the development of banking, and the role of credit within capitalism. As Adam stresses, the economic problems we face today lie not with an overbloated finance sector, greedy bankers, or a lack of credit, but with the anarchic, chaotic, and crisis-ridden capitalist system.

Money - Pictures of Money--Flickr the second part of his series looking at the role of money within capitalist society, Adam Booth explores the questions of value, alienation, and profit in order to develop a more in-depth understanding about the nature of money.

digging-a-hole-thIn their desperate search for profitable fields of investment, the capitalist class, especially the financial oligarchy, has presided over an explosive growth of unproductive expenditure that today threatens to undermine the very edifice of capitalism. As more and more surplus value is siphoned off into unproductive activities, the issue of “productive” and “unproductive” labour has once again resurfaced as a factor contributing to, and a reflection of, the present terminal decline of world capitalism.

digging-a-hole-thThe world economy has been mired in a deep crisis since 2007. The bourgeois have tried everything to climb out of the crisis, from quantitative easing, to zero interest rates, to the socialization of banking losses, but all to no avail. Why is it that a modern-day version of Keynesianism cannot work?

What is value? This question has perplexed the human mind for more than 2,000 years. The classical bourgeois economists grappled with the question, as did Marx. After much deliberation, they correctly concluded that labour was the source of value. This idea then became a cornerstone of bourgeois political economy, beginning with Adam Smith. On this question, there was common ground between Marx and the classical bourgeois economists.

Illustration: Latuff

[The following article was originally published in the summer issue of our theoretical magazine In Defence of Marxism] In the last issue of the In Defence of Marxism magazine we polemicized against the theory of “under-consumption” as an explanation of capitalist crisis. In this issue, we wish to look at Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall.

Marx, Keynes, Hayek and the Crisis of Capitalism. Photo: LSE LibraryIn this third part of the article on Keynes, Hayek and Marx, the author deals with the shortcomings of Hayek's economic analysis and shows the utopian character of modern Keynesianism. Only socialism can provide a positive way out of the present crisis.

fallencapital latuff thA recent BBC documentary series entitled “Masters of Money” examined the ideas of three historical giants in economics: Keynes, Hayek, and Marx. In this article, we compare and contrast their ideas in the context of the current crisis of capitalism, to see if any of these figures and their writings really do have the answers to solve the problems facing society today.

Marx & Engels

“What did Marx mean by the contradictions of capitalism?” asks Samuel Brittan, the right-wing economist writing in the Financial Times. “Basically, that the system produced an ever-expanding flow of goods and services, which an impoverished proletarianised population could not afford to buy. Some 20 years ago, following the crumbling of the Soviet system, this would have seemed outmoded. But it needs another look, following the increase in the concentration of wealth and income.” 1

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