RETHINK
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155 results

2019
Level: advanced
In this short lecture the marxist economic geographer David Harvey explains how his theory of The accumulation of dispossession came about and its central principles The theory builds on Marx law of the centralisation of capital arguing how the accumulation no longer stems from producing rather through trading asset values …
2020
Level: advanced
The article acts as a review and a short primer on Kalyan Sanyal s book Rethinking Capitalist Development It states that Sanyal s book is an attempt to theorise postcolonial capitalism from the inside out rather than the outside in with no leaning towards any particular critical academic ideology such …
2012
Level: beginner
Mainstream textbooks present economics as an objective science free from value judgements; that settles disputes by testing hypotheses; that applies a pre-determined body of principles; and contains policy prescriptions supported by a consensus of professional opinion.
1971
Level: advanced
"The aim of this work is two-fold. On the one hand it provides a summary and gives a systematic description of all kinds of criticism of Walrasian general equilibrium theory, utility theory and neo-classical price theory. On the other hand it attempts to elaborate a conceptual framework and to raise some relevant questions of a new, more general economic systems theory.
2010
Level: advanced
As the world's energy system faces a period of unprecedented change, a global struggle over who controls the sector--and for what purposes--is intensifying. The question of "green capitalism" is now unavoidable, for capitalist planners and anti-capitalist struggles alike.
2014
Level: advanced
Most mainstream neoclassical economists completely failed to anticipate the crisis which broke in 2007 and 2008. There is however a long tradition of economic analysis which emphasises how growth in a capitalist economy leads to an accumulation of tensions and results in periodic crises. This paper first reviews the work of Karl Marx who was one of the first writers to incorporate an analysis of periodic crisis in his analysis of capitalist accumulation. The paper then considers the approach of various subsequent Marxian writers, most of whom locate periodic cyclical crises within the framework of longer-term phases of capitalist development, the most recent of which is generally seen as having begun in the 1980s. The paper also looks at the analyses of Thorstein Veblen and Wesley Claire Mitchell, two US institutionalist economists who stressed the role of finance and its contribution to generating periodic crises, and the Italian Circuitist writers who stress the problematic challenge of ensuring that bank advances to productive enterprises can successfully be repaid.
2021
Level: beginner
How should we discuss welfare when understanding the role of growth and the viability of Growth-led development? One option is to look at subjective happiness. This provides an anti-materialistic view which may superficially appear more compatible with significant reductions in consumption in order to remain within safe ecological limits.
 
Post-Keynesians focus on the analysis of capitalist economies, perceived as highly productive, but unstable and conflictive systems. Economic activity is determined by effective demand, which is typically insufficient to generate full employment and full utilisation of capacity.
2009
Level: advanced
As the current economic crisis spreads around the globe questions are being asked about what king of capitalist or post-capitalist economy will follow. There is increasing talk of the need for stringent economic regulation, the need to temper greed and individualism, to make the economy work for human and social development.
2022
Level: beginner
The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the deep structural rifts in modern capitalist economies. It has exposed and exacerbated the long-lasting systemic inequalities in income, wealth, healthcare, housing, and other aspects of economic success across a variety of dimensions including class, gender, race, regions, and nations. This workshop explores the causes of economic inequality in contemporary capitalist economies and its consequences for the economy and society in the post-pandemic reality, as well as what steps can be taken to alleviate economic inequality in the future. Drawing from a variety of theoretical and interdisciplinary insights, the workshop encourages you to reflect on your personal experiences of inequality and aims to challenge the way in which the issue is typically approached in economics.
 
Marxian Political Economy focuses on the exploitation of labour by capital. The economy is not conceived as consisting of neutral transactions for exchange and cooperation, but instead as having developed historically out of asymmetric distributions of power, ideology and social conflicts.
2020
Level: beginner
It is perhaps fitting that the seriousness of the coronavirus threat hit most of the Western world around the Ides of March, the traditional day of reckoning of outstanding debts in Ancient Rome. After all, problems and imbalances have accumulated in the Western capitalist system over four decades, ostensibly since it took the neoliberal road out of the 1970s crisis and kept going along it, heedless of the crises and problems it led to.
2011
Level: advanced
In his 2010 published book “The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism” multi-talented US geographer, anthropologist and Marxist economist David Harvey aims to analyse the capitalist system that has shaped western society and the globalized world of today.
2020
Level: beginner
The general idea of a Job Guarantee (JG) is that the government offers employment to everybody ready, willing and able to work for a living wage in the last instance as an Employer of Last Resort. The concept tackles societal needs that are not satisfied by market forces and the systemic characteristic of unemployment in capitalist societies. Being a central part of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), attention for the JG concept rose in recent years.
2018
Level: beginner
In this essay the author outlines the basis for embracing a post-work agenda, rooted in an emancipatory potential from the domination of waged work, which could help answer both feminist and ecological concerns with work.
2020
Level: beginner
One of the pluralist theories which has gained prominence following the 2008 financial crisis is Hyman Minsky and his Financial Instability Hypothesis (FIH). Minsky was unique in viewing balance sheets and financial flows as the primary components of capitalist economies, and his focus on the financial system meant he was well-equipped for foresee a crisis much like 2008. Although he died long before 2008 his framework anticipated many of the processes which led to the crash, particularly increased risk-taking and financial innovation which would outstrip the abilities of regulators and central banks to manage the system.
2020
Level: beginner
In this podcast, Laura Basu focuses on how capitalist markets and nation-states perpetuate structural racism.
2021
Level: beginner
This lecture by Alana Lentin offers a very useful primer on the concept of racial capitalism, which can be employed as a conceptual framework to understand the mutual nature of racialisation and capitalist exploitation, as well as can set off further contemporary discussions e.g. about climate and care crises.
2016
Level: advanced
In a capitalist system, consumers, investors, and corporations orient their activities toward a future that contains opportunities and risks. How actors assess uncertainty is a problem that economists have tried to solve through general equilibrium and rational expectations theory. Powerful as these analytical tools are, they underestimate the future's unknowability by assuming that markets, in the aggregate, correctly forecast what is to come.
2015
Level: beginner
According to Karl Marx, work should satisfy people and encourage creativity. But the capitalist production, the separation of labour and the exploitation of workers alienates them from their products.
2011
Level: beginner
Capitalism cannot fulfil the promises of the French revolution: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Why? Richard Wollf elaborates on Marx's analysis of the distribution and organisation of surplus in society and his conclusion that there is something inherently wrong in capitalist class structure that still causes economic crisis in our modern times. Change requires changing the organisation of the production. This goes far beyond a discussion of 'more-state' vs. 'less-state'.
2014
Level: beginner
In this lecture Ben Fine aims at stimulating interest for and explaining the relevance of Marxist Political Economy. Ben Fine dedicates the first half of his comprehensible lecture to the question on how mainstream economics became the way it is by explaining its key concepts and how those evolved during the past 150 years. While critically reflecting those concept he also emphasizes that mainstream economics does not consider historical processes. This is the point of departure on his presentation of the core terms and crucial categories of Marxist Political Economy: e.g. the production process and class relations (Part 1). Part 2 examines the consequences of the capitalist mode of production and its propensity to crises. Ben Fine illustrates this Marxist analysis with the example of the current crisis and explains current conditions for the accumulation of capital.
2014
Level: beginner
In this lecture Ben Fine aims at stimulating interest for and explaining the relevance of Marxist Political Economy. Ben Fine dedicates the first half of his comprehensible lecture to the question on how mainstream economics became the way it is by explaining its key concepts and how those evolved during the past 150 years. While critically reflecting those concept he also emphasizes that mainstream economics does not consider historical processes. This is the point of departure on his presentation of the core terms and crucial categories of Marxist Political Economy: e.g. the production process and class relations (Part 1). Part 2 examines the consequences of the capitalist mode of production and its propensity to crises. Ben Fine illustrates this Marxist analysis with the example of the current crisis and explains current conditions for the accumulation of capital.
2020
Level: beginner
Firms are the primary places where economic activity takes place in modern capitalist economies: they are where most stuff is produced; where many of us spend 40 hours a week; and where big decisions are made about how to allocate resources. Establishing how they work is hugely important because it helps us to understand patterns of production and consumption, including how firms will react to changes in economic conditions and policy. And a well-established literature – led by post-Keynesians and institutionalists – holds that the best way to determine how firms work is to…wait for it...ask firms how they work. This a clearly sensible proposition that is contested in economics for some reason, but we’ll ignore the controversy here and just explore the theory that springs from this approach.
2013
Level: beginner
Silvia Federici outlines the content of her book „Caliban and the Witch - Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation“. Departing from a critique of the Marxist blindspot on reproductive labour, Federici aims at researching the historical process by which the exploitation of women and the construction of the unproductive housewife has been established. Federici points to the transition from the feudal to the capitalist mode of production and explains how the gender specific prosecution (witch hunt) was linked to necessity of control over bodies and the sexuality in the great transformation. Federici also presents arguments why this research is highly relevant for the analysis of women's situation in current capitalism.
2015
Level: beginner
Paul Mason presents the main arguments of his book PostCapitalism. First, he argues that capitalism runs out of its capability to adapt to crises and second states that information technology challenges the capitalist system. In a nutshell, he argues that a society which fully exploits information technologies can't include concepts such as intellectual property, free market or private ownership. This has far-reaching consequences for the organisation of wages and work. The talk stops at minute 37.30.
2014
Level: advanced
In this short talk, Nicole Pepperell discusses Albert Hirschman's book "Rival Views of Market Society and Other Recent Essays". Among others, he discusses different conceptions of the characteristics and dynamics of capitalist societies.
2015
Level: advanced
The principle of effective demand, and the claim of its validity for a monetary production economy in the short and in the long run, is the core of heterodox macroeconomics, as currently found in all the different strands of post-Keynesian economics (Fundamentalists, Kaleckians, Sraffians, Kaldorians, Institutionalists) and also in some strands of neo-Marxian economics, particularly in the monopoly capitalism and underconsumptionist school In this contribution, we will therefore outline the foundations of the principle of effective demand and its relationship with the respective notion of a capitalist or a monetary production economy in the works of Marx, Kalecki and Keynes. Then we will deal with heterodox short-run macroeconomics and it will provide a simple short-run model which is built on the principle of effective demand, as well as on distribution conflict between different social groups (or classes): rentiers, managers and workers. Finally, we will move to the long run and we will review the integration of the principle of effective demand into heterodox/post-Keynesian approaches towards distribution and growth.
2015
Level: advanced
This paper presents an overview of different models which explain financial crises, with the aim of understanding economic developments during and possibly after the Great Recession. In the first part approaches based on efficient markets and rational expectations hypotheses are analyzed, which however do not give any explanation for the occurrence of financial crises and thus cannot suggest any remedies for the present situation. A broad range of theoretical approaches analyzing financial crises from a medium term perspective is then discussed. Within this group we focused on the insights of Marx, Schumpeter, Wicksell, Hayek, Fisher, Keynes, Minsky, and Kindleberger. Subsequently the contributions of the Regulation School, the approach of Social Structures of Accumulation and Post-Keynesian approach, which focus on long-term developments and regime shifts in capitalist development, are presented. International approaches to finance and financial crises are integrated into the analyses. We address the issue of relevance of all these theories for the present crisis and draw some policy implications. The paper has the aim to find out to which extent the different approaches are able to explain the Great Recession, what visions they develop about future development of capitalism and to which extent these different approaches can be synthesized.
Level: advanced
This course seeks to interpret capitalism using ideas from biological evolution. The lectures are foundational on neoclassical economics and economist, as well as their roles in the proliferation of capitalist ideology. However, it is less concerned with the ultimate judgment of capitalism than with the ways it can be shaped to fit more specific objectives.
2019
Level: expert
This paper attempts to clarify how the European economic crisis from 2007 onwards can be understood from the perspective of a Marxian monetary theory of value that emphasizes intrinsic, structural flaws regarding capitalist reproduction. Chapter two provides an empirical description of the European economic crisis, which to some extent already reflects the structural theoretical framework presented in chapter three. Regarding the theoretical framework Michael Heinrich's interpretation of 'the' Marxian monetary theory of value will be presented. Heinrich identifies connections between production and realization, between profit and interest rate as well as between industrial and fictitious capital, which represent contradictory tendencies for which capitalism does not have simple balancing processes. In the context of a discussion of 'structural logical aspects' of Marx's Critique of the Political Economy, explanatory deficits of Heinrich's approach are analyzed. In the following, it is argued that Fred Moseley's view of these 'structural logical aspects' allows empirical 'applications' of Marxian monetary theories of value. It is concluded that a Marxian monetary theory of value, with the characteristics of expansive capital accumulation and its limitations, facilitates a structural analysis of the European economic crisis from 2007 onwards. In this line of argument, expansive production patterns are expressed, among other things, in global restructuring processes, while consumption limitations are mitigated by expansive financial markets and shifts in ex-port destinations.
2018
Level: advanced
Uncertain Futures considers how economic actors visualize the future and decide how to act in conditions of radical uncertainty. It starts from the premise that dynamic capitalist economies are characterized by relentless innovation and novelty and hence exhibit an indeterminacy that cannot be reduced to measurable risk.

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