Bonfire of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World by Alex Callinicos

By Alex Callinicos

Whatever dramatic occurred within the overdue summer time and autumn of 2008. The post-Cold struggle international got here to an abrupt finish. This used to be the results of conjoined crises. First, in its short battle with Georgia in August 2008, Russia asserted its army strength to halt the growth of NATO to its very borders. Secondly, on 15 September 2008 the Wall highway funding financial institution Lehman Brothers collapsed. This brought on a serious monetary crash and helped to push the realm economic climate into the worst stoop because the 1930s.

Both crises marked a serious setback for the worldwide energy of the U.S., which had pushed NATO growth and compelled in the course of the liberalization of economic markets. extra commonly they challenged the consensus that had reigned because the cave in of the Soviet bloc in 1989 US-orchestrated liberal capitalist order might supply the area peace and prosperity. Already badly broken via the Iraq debacle, this consensus has now suffered probably deadly blows.

In Bonfire of Illusions Alex Callinicos explores those dual crises. He lines the credits crunch that built in 2007-8 to a way more protracted quandary of overaccumulation and profitability that has gripped worldwide capitalism because the overdue Sixties. He additionally confronts the interplay among fiscal and geopolitical occasions, highlighting the recent assertiveness of geographical regions and analysing the annoying, advanced dating of interdependence and clash that binds jointly the USA and China. eventually, based on the revelation that the industry isn't the method to the world's difficulties, Callinicos experiences the customers for choices to capitalism.

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Moszkowska, Das Marxsche Syslem, pp. J28, 142-3. 50. Strachey, Nmure of Capi/alis/ Crisis, p. 320. 51. Sweezy, T/¡eory, pp. 147-55; Dobb Poli/ical Economy, pp. 123-5. 52. Corey, Decline, pp, 74-93; Varga, The Grear Crisis, pp. 86-98. 53. Tugan-Baranovsky, SI/Idien zur Theorie, pp. 27-32; Hilferdíng, Final/ce Capila/, pp. 257-66; d. Ch 10 of volume I of Ihis book. 54. 0, Bauer, Kapiralisllllls ¡/lid Sozialismus Nach dem We/¡krieg (Vienna: Wiener Vo1ksbuchhand1ung, 1931) p. 199; Naphtali, Wirrschaflskrisis, pp.

It offers a c1ear and plausible model of cyclical fluctuations along the following lines. Accumulation commences while there is still a substantial reserve army of Ihe unemployed, relatively low real wages, and high rates of exploítation and of profit. Although constant capital is accumulated more rapidly than variable capital, the demand for labour power expands. The reserve army shrínks, and real wages begin to rise. Soon they outstrip ahe growth in the productívity of labour, depressing the rate of exploitatíon and lowering the profit rateo This chokes off investment and brings accumulation lo a hall.

6. F. Pollock. 'Bemerkungen zur Wirtschaflskrise', Zeilschrifl für Sozialforschung 2 (1933), pp. 324--5. 7. Naphtali, Wirtschaftskrisis, p. 12; Pollock, 'Bemerkungen', p. 325n; cf. E. Mandel, Long Waves of Capitalisl Development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980) and L. sky, 'The Curve of Capitalist Development' (1923) in Trotsky, Problems of Everyday Lije (New York: Monad Press, 1979), pp. 272-80. 8. Naphtali, Wirtschaftskrisís, pp. 11-13; O. Bauer, Zwischen Zwei Weltkriegen? (Bratislava: Eugen Prager Verlag, 1936), pp.

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