A Marxist Political Economy Site
Economics pamphlets, essays, articles and reviews from the Marxist
This is a site devoted to Marxist political economy. It is still under
development and a lot more material will be added later. To begin with,
many of the materials have been written by the host of this web site,
Scott H. To make suggestions, comments or criticisms, contact:
sco...@massline.org or webmas...@massline.org
Note: Some of the documents and essays below are fairly long and are
much easier to read if you print them out first. That will also give you
the margins you’ll need to write down your criticisms!
Political Economy - General
The Definition of ‘Capitalism’ [S.H.] (March 2003) - A letter to
“The Myth of the Tragedy of the Commons”, by Ian Angus. (8/24/08)
“Lenin on Imperialism” [S.H.] (2007) [PDF: 237 KB] - A 10-page
discussion of Lenin’s views on imperialism in light of the new
evidence and changes since his day.
The Marxist Theory of Capitalist Economic Crises
An Introductory Explanation of Capitalist Economic Crises, by Scott H.
(2008) - This pamphlet discusses both the underlying and surface
contradictions involved in capitalist crises. [The first 5 chapters are
now available. More will be added later.]
Chapter I: The Basic Contradictions Underlying Capitalist Economic
Chapter II: The Surface Layer of Contradictions
Chapter III: How Are Capitalist Economic Crises Overcome?
Chapter IV: Capitalist Economic Crises in the Imperialist Era (8/9/08)
Chapter V: The Industrial Cycle Has Split in Two! (8/19/08)
“False Lessons from the Great Depression” [S.H.] (7/14/03) - A
criticism of two main points in Peter Temin’s book, Lessons from the
“Comments on Sison’s ‘Contradictions in the World Capitalist
System and the Necessity of Socialist Revolution’” [S.H.] (1/23/02)
- Discussion of Jose Maria Sison’s view of the world economic and
political situation, as well as a critique of the “General Crisis of
Letter to Bob Avakian on Imperialist War and Capitalist Economic Cycles
“The ‘Capital Shortage’ Myth: A Dangerous Error in Political
Economy” [S.H.] (Jan. 1977)
Commentary on the Developing Economic Crisis
“Is the Current Economic Crisis a Crisis of Overproduction?”
[S.H.] (7/11/08) - This letter responds to a question about the nature
of the currently developing crisis, and also addresses the issue of the
means that imperialist powers use to dump the effects of their own
crises onto the backs of people of the countries they exploit.
“Recession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble To Invest In”
(7/14/08), an article from the satirical publication The Onion.
“The Onion is More Correct Than They Realize!” [S.H.] (7/24/08) - A
serious commentary on the above article which argues that bubbles really
are absolutely necessary under capitalism!
“Is It Socialism?” (Sept. 25-27, 2008) - An email discussion
between Scott H. and his friend Kirby about whether the bailouts and
partial nationalization of several banks and financial institutions by
the U.S. government should be considered “socialism”.
“The Worst is Yet to Come” (11/22/08) - A Reuters article about the
top IMF economist predicting the worst of the current financial/economic
crisis is yet to come, together with a brief commentary by Scott H.
The Labor Theory of Value
“Steve Keen on Marxist Economics & a Mini Essay on the Labor Theory
of Value” [S.H.] (9/3/03) - A very one-sided review of Steve Keen’s
Debunking Economics, focusing on the single chapter on Marxist
economics, and the labor theory of value in particular. Puts forward the
theory that past labor (in the form of tools and machines) can also
contribute to surplus value.
Letter to Frank S. about the labor theory of value [S.H.] (12/08/03) -
Scott’s friend Frank criticized his theory about machines being able
to contribute to surplus value and his comments about Say’s “Law”.
This is Scott’s response.
“Additional Comments on Say’s ‘Law’-and the Consequences of
Failing to Recognize Its Fallaciousness” [S.H.] (1/15/04) - A
continuation of the above, after a discussion with Frank.
The Monthly Review School
“In Remembrance of Paul M. Sweezy”, by Dr. Gupta. This article is
taken from People’s March, the revolutionary magazine from India, Vol.
5, No. 6, June 2004.
“Working-Class Households and the Burden of Debt”, by the Editors
of Monthly Review magazine. This important article appeared in MR in May
2000. It demonstrates quite convincingly, and with a lot of statistical
support, that the long U.S. boom of the 1990s is to be explained largely
by the tremendous increase in working-class debt over that decade, and
not by the repeal of the laws of capitalism or through some “New
Economic Statistics & Demographics
“Economist Challenges Government Data”, by Sam Zuckerman, San
Francisco Chronicle, May 25, 2008, [PDF: 74 KB] - This article, from the
bourgeois media, describes (and subtly tries to discredit) the work of
the renegade bourgeois economist John Williams who runs a web site
showing many of the distortions and lies in U.S. economic statistics.
“Humanity Today and Demographics” [S.H.] (12/10/08) [PDF: 326 KB]
- An 11-page summary of the U.S. and world population growth, fertility,
ageing, urbanization, immigration, etc.
The Real U.S. Unemployment Rate in 2006 [S.H.] [PDF: 203 KB] -
Explains why the real unemployment rate is well over twice as great as
the government and media claim.
Other Topics in Political Economy
“Notes on Notes on Political Economy” [S.H.] (2/25/00) - A critique
of an RCP document about the errors they made in their “1980s
analysis” and their current views on the world economic situation.
“First Notes Towards a Critique of America in Decline” [S.H.]
(2/12/99) - A review, of sorts, of a major 1984 RCP book on political
“The Many Types of Capitalist Economic Anarchy” [S.H.] (02/23/83)
(More to be added later.)
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