WORLD REVIEW OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Volume 11 • Number 1 • Spring 2020

All articles below are read and used under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY License) (see which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited.

The Contribution of the “School of New Marxist Economics” to China’s Socialist Market Economy

Yang Zhang

Abstract: Since China’s reform and opening up four decades ago, the establishment and healthy development of the socialist market economy has been closely linked to the forward-looking theoretical analysis and policy suggestions given by representatives from the School of New Marxist Economics. By comparative analysis of a variety of cited literature, the author argues that the School of New Marxist Economics scholars Guoguang Liu, Enfu Cheng, and Zuyao Yu, have made an outstanding contribution not only to the construction of the socialist market economy theory and socialist political economy with Chinese characteristics academically, but also to the comprehensive deepening of reform and the strengthening of technology power building in practice.

Key words: socialist market economy; “Chinese School” of socialist market economy; School of New Marxist Economics in China


A General Theory of Value and Money Foundations of an Axiomatic Theory

Alan Freeman

Abstract: This article is the first part of “A General Theory of Value and Money” and sets out the foundations of an axiomatic theory of value and money. Its purpose is to equip the public to explain the four facts that define the modern capitalist economy: the long-term post-war decline of the economies of the global North, the financial instability which produced the 2008 crash, the prolonged post-war growth in inequality between the global North and the global South, and the exceptional 30-year growth of China. The axiomatic method is poorly understood among economists. It allows us to interrogate empirical evidence in a systematic way, and is therefore the necessary precondition for an inductivist, scientific enquiry into economic events, that is, an enquiry whose starting point is the explanation of facts. The second part of “A General Theory of Value and Money,” to follow, deals with the empirical conclusions, especially the analysis of accumulation, the rate of profit, and financial crashes.

Key words: value; finance; crisis; TSSI


The State and Accumulation Under Contemporary Capitalism

Paramjit Singh and Balwinder Singh Tiwana

Abstract: The classical and neo-classical economists present capitalism as a self-regulating and self-sustaining system. A system works on Say’s law of market or Walrasian general equilibrium lines where market device works so efficiently that there are no possibilities of instability. The full utilization of available resources keeps the economy on a steady state growth path. However, Marxian and Keynesian economists do not believe in this idealistic interpretation of the working of capitalist economic system. They argue that cyclical instability is a fundamental tendency of capitalist economic structure. Historically, it has been proven that the capitalist system, from its very inception, has required state intervention, not only in its external relations but also in its internal functioning. The stability of capitalism depends upon the stability of capital accumulation which in turn depends upon state facilitation and direct state intervention in the economic affairs. In the light of these facts, the present paper makes an attempt to scrutinize the role of state in the accumulation process, which has evolved with the evolution of social classes and has been dominating economic and social affairs in accordance with the needs of the dominant class.

Key words: capitalism; state; accumulation; stability; Keynesianism; financialization


Class, Demography, and Gay Politics in the West

Paul Cockshott

Abstract: We examine the economic position of gay couples and show that they are relatively advantaged compared to heterosexual ones, with this advantage being most marked for male same-sex couples. We argue that the issue of gay marriage has to be seen in the context of a general demographic crisis affecting Western capitalist countries. We look at the impact of this on profitability and growth.

Key words: class; gay economics; demographics


The Ecological Crisis, Apocalypticism, and the Internalization of Unfreedom

Saladdin Ahmed

Abstract: Responses to the definitive evidence that the existing order of things will inevitably lead to an ecological doomsday often take one of two approaches, not counting outright deniers of climate change. The more optimistic of the two assumes that we could regain a reasonable balance of life on Earth through individual lifestyle adjustments. The second dominant approach is pessimistic to the degree of embracing apocalypticism, for it assumes the ecological catastrophe is altogether unavoidable. In either case, the capitalist system is perceived as the only possible order of things and goes unquestioned. Refuting both positions, I argue that the impending ecological catastrophe could only be avoided if collective progressive action puts an end to the capitalist modes of production. In the absence of universal movements grounded in revolutionary ecological politics, capitalism will continue to thrive not despite but because of the escalating ecological crisis. As climate change continues to make life conditions in the global south more difficult, cheap labour will become even more readily exploitable, just as the fundamental elements of life, such as clean water and air, will be increasingly commodified as they become scarcer. Unless sustained revolutionary action is undertaken to topple the capitalist relations of production, the ecological crisis will only bring about more suffering for the poor and greater benefits for the rich. The notion that small-scale changes in behaviour could reverse these trends under such circumstances is absurd, but that is not to say we should nihilistically succumb to our fate.

Key words: ecological crisis; capitalism; apocalypticism; Marx; Adorno


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