Saturday, November 6, 2010

Constant Capital and the Crisis in Contemporary Capitalism: Echoes from the Late Nineteenth Century

"Constant Capital and the Crisis in Contemporary Capitalism: Echoes from the Late Nineteenth Century" looks at the current crisis in light of how economists showed a superior understanding of the way the economy worked during the late nineteenth century.

Comments would be very much appreciated.


john c. halasz said...

I've never encountered the term "moral" depreciation before. Is it coined by analogy to "moral" hazard?

Also, it's not clear that the example of the late 19th century could be directly applied to today's conditions. There are an number of other factors, such as the restructuring of corporate organizations and rents and the vast extension of markets through globalization, and the tendency of new technological complexes, through their very proliferating complexity, to extend possibilities for both technological production and consumption, that would need to be added to any contemporary account. Still, the basic paradox that vast increases in material surpluses tend to run into the constraint of the devaluation of the capital that produces them, and that thus the rate-of-profit can be maintained only through increasingly artificial enforcement, remains "essential", even if the institutional means of overcoming or resolving that paradox are not apparent.

media said...

my glance is that you didn't define 'constant capital'. (on another list----lbo-talk---there was a debate recently over whether 'capitalism' was some sort of 'constant' (of the motion---eg emma noether, with the (fluctuating a-)symmetry group).

i remember staying at 'hotel acropolis'. you climb up there. watch the people break the plates---greek culture, socrates, aristotle, plato, etc. thats why 'we' have a 'crisis'---lost our tradition (western values).
had to run from the police last nite. 'uh oh g-o g-o'.

i thought greece was gone---all those riots. web of debt.

i wonder how this set of words compares with say, nitzan and bichler (of the 51st or 52nd state). 'capital as power'. 'constant power'? maximum power (lotka) ?