WORLD REVIEW OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
All articles below are read and used under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY License) (see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0) which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited.
Feng Zhao and Shenxiao Ma
Abstract: The in-depth analysis of the relationship between financial capital and functional capital together with its changes is not only helpful for us to understand the inherent contradictions of the current capitalist economy, but it is also the key to clarify the inner logic of capitalist financialization. This article analyzes the logic and consequences of changes in the mutual relationship between financial capital and functional capital in capitalist reproduction and accumulation in a unified framework by researching on the contradictory relationship between financial capital and functional capital from the two traditional Marxist approaches, namely the Capital Circuit Approach and the Class Approach. The article holds that the cyclical relationship between interest rates and corporate profitability reflects the cooperation of financial capital and functional capital in capital circulation, and reveals the power confrontation of the two in the distribution of surplus value, which provides important clues to understanding the financialization of contemporary capitalism.
Abstract: In this article, I will discuss the reasons why the US economic crisis of 2008-2009 ended in the Great Recession from a Marxist perspective. First, I will discuss a Marxist financial crisis theory. My conclusion is the formation of fictitious capital plays a crucial role in accelerating the economic growth process, creates economic over-sensitiveness and eventually leads to a crisis. Second, I will present a historical process of the Great Depression in the United States from a perspective of financial crisis. In those days, the gold reserves of Federal Reserve Banks should not be less than 40% against note liabilities. However, the government set up the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1932 and took an aggressive monetary policy under the gold standard. Therefore the United States was finally compelled to abandon the gold standard in 1933. Third, I will discuss the financial crisis of 2008-2009 and show its difference from the Great Depression in the 1930s. And finally, I will try to critically compare the Great Depression with the Great Recession from a Marxist financial crisis theory.
Abstract: This article intends to examine the issues of public debt and austerity policy in the United Kingdom. It attempts to provide an evaluation of fiscal policy under neoliberalism and to consider the relationship between this policy and the macroeconomic performance of the United Kingdom economy. There also seem to be ambiguities among the policy makers about austerity. Therefore, it seems important to examine the issue of government-imposed austerity policies and fiscal deficits. There is a need to borrow to cover the deficits as there is no inflationary pressure in the United Kingdom. Most democratic solutions against any inflationary pressures are to reduce the money in circulation through higher taxes. This study concludes that increased state intervention, as a means to enhance long-term growth, is crucial for achieving economic stability and greater equality.
Abstract: It has long been accepted that Marx was a follower of the labour theory of value. This position has recently been challenged by Harvey. This paper shows that the essential basis of Marx’s value theory remained labour and that it did not differ substantially from that of Ricardo. It also references data showing the empirical validity of the theory and presents example data from the UK 1998 input output table showing how closely monetary output shadows labour content.
Abstract: Because anti-Marxist’s criticism against Fundamental Marxian Theorem (FMT) is based on an assertion that this proof can be understood as a “natural-resources exploitation,” if we assume, for example, “natural-resources theory of value,” we should prove not only exploitation but also labor theory of value itself. Therefore, this article aims to prove labor theory of value mathematically by focusing on the historically conditional proportionality between labor input and amounts of products which is assumed in labor theory of value. By this proof of the conditional proportionality, we show that marginalist principle does not disturb labor theory of value in capitalism at all. Furthermore, marginalist principle is important to show the labor process as a subjective optimization process which is not by the sun but only by human beings. In this way, we use anti-Marxist’s marginal principle to object anti-Marxist criticism against labor theory of value.
Abstract: Our treatment of the theme is inspired by the formulation of Hiroshi Onishi. Professor Onishi establishes the labor theory of value by deriving a proportionality between labor power and output. We engage with the Professor’s marginalist treatment and proceed to the dialectical approach to Marx’s theory of value. Accordingly, money is an integral part of the subject.
Abstract: This paper is a reply to David Laibman’s latest paper critical of my 2016 book Money and Totality: A Macro-Monetary Interpretation of Marx’s Logic in Capital and the End of the “Transformation Problem.” This paper responds to the following points: did I misstate Laibman’s position in my previous paper?; the logical priority of the production of surplus-value over the distribution of surplus-value (i.e., the prior determination of the total surplus-value); different starting points: quantities of money capital (Marx) vs. quantities of physical inputs and outputs (Sraffa); is Marx’s theory “monetary”?; and (most importantly) is my interpretation of Marx’s theory logically incoherent? I argue that Laibman’s criticism of logical incoherence is based on the usual fundamental misinterpretation of Marx’s transformation of values into prices of production—as a transformation from one set of micro prices (the values of individual commodities) to another set of micro prices (the prices of production of individual commodities). To the contrary, I argue that the logic of Marx’s transformation is from macro total price to micro individual prices of production and that this macro-to-micro transformation is logically coherent, so there is no transformation problem in Marx’s theory of prices of production.
Although the concept is a familiar one, it tends not to be fully accepted that economics, and political economy in particular, is in fact a social science. Focusing today on capital and commodities, economics does so in the light of their being social relationships. Paul Boccara, on whose work this article centres its attention, focused especially on the following concept: that social relations—both in general, and in the form of market relations—are interwoven with, and are expressions of, the rules of a general though historically specific human nature. Furthermore, we find even in so-called free market societies a complex apparatus that controls economic regulations, making them possible as well as determining their thrust. The article will explain how political life shaped Boccara personally, and how he in turn influenced the development of political economy, basing it firmly on the methodology of Karl Marx while applying it in new ways. The article also reflects on the need to consider the current crisis as a crisis of civilisation, one whose economic core is to be found in over-accumulation and devaluation on a global scale.