Download Capitalism and Catastrophe: A Critical Appraisal of the by S. Rousseas PDF

By S. Rousseas

Capitalism and disaster questions no matter if there are strategies in complicated capitalism that lead unavoidably to systemic cave in. the writer demanding situations these Marxian theories in line with a suite of traditionally evolving 'internal contradictions' derived from a in simple terms dialectical research of capitalism. partially I he specializes in the talk surrounding Rosa Luxemburg's theories of imperialism and capital accumulation, and on Marx's remedy of technology and know-how within the Grundrisse. partially I I he seriously examines neo- and non-Marxian theories of complex capitalism, particularly the paintings of Jurgen Habermas concerning the challenge of political legitimation in complex capitalism. Professor Rousseas argues that Marxists have critically underestimated the resilience of the capitalist process, which has to be taken into consideration through any idea of political economic climate suitable to the 20 th century.

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There will be no theoretical necessity to limit the accumulation of capital in the classless society and therefore no Malthusian specter to limit the growth of population, as indeed many Marxists have argued in the past. Due to the constraints of the profit motive on capital accumula­ tion, it would appear that capitalism must experience a lower rate of economic growth under conditions of alienated and reified labor than would be the case in a liberated communist society. This theme was picked up more recently by the exiled Czech Marx­ ist, Ota Sik.

It was in the "or" of the "decline of civilization or the transition to socialism" and in the "Barbarism or Socialism" slogan of her i 9 1 6 Junius Pamphlet that the key to understanding Luxemburg lay. She was anything but a subscriber to Kautsky's notion of a mechanical dialectic (in his Road to Power). As Geras points out, Luxemburg equated barbarism with the collapse of capitalism - a collapse that, if unchallenged, would doom all civilization to extinction. The need for revolutionary activity was all the greater if extinction was to be avoided.

The an­ swer was simple: Capitalism was still an open system. She appealed to "reality" (pp. 58-9): In reality, there are in all capitalist countries, even those with the most developed large-scale industry, numerous artisan and peasant enterprises which are engaged in simple com­ modity production. In reality, alongside the old capitalist countries there are still those even in Europe where peasant and artisan production is still strongly predominant. . And finally, there are huge continents besides capitalist Europe and North America, where capitalist production has only scat­ tered roots, and apart from that the people of these conti­ nents have all sorts of economic systems.

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