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Archive for December 29th, 2008

Richard Wolff offers some comments on the crisis and urges us to look beyond capitalism.

The problem, to put it simply:

In Marxian terms, the current crisis emerged from the workings of the capitalist class structure.

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To keep capitalism is to suffer its chronic instability. To deal effectively with capitalism’s recurring crises requires changing to a non-capitalist class structure

Some history:

Since the mid-1970s, workers’ average real wages stopped rising.

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However, workers’ productivity kept rising (more machines, more pressure, and more skills). They produced ever more for their employers to sell, yet the employers paid them no more.

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In effect, US capitalism thereby substituted rising loans for rising wages to workers.

Some questions:

Will responses to this latest capitalist crisis continue to ignore or deny the role of capitalism’s class structure? Will the crisis consequences of allowing capitalist boards of directors to appropriate and distribute surpluses go unrecognized?

A solution: New, non-capitalist class structures.  Wolff does not go into too much detail here.  If you are interested, try looking here or here or here.

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