Karl Marx (1818 – 1883)

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John Bellamy Foster writes about the current economic crisis on MRZine:

Marx explained that capital was invariably over-extended in a boom and that in the crisis that followed a part of that capital was devalued, enabling the rest to return to profitability and to the process of accumulation and expansion.  However, we are now to some extent in uncharted territory: a phase of monopoly-finance capital that is in many ways unprecedented.

Actually, I believe this is not a totally “uncharted territory” if we recall all the milestones in the history of capitalism; since the catastrophic possibilities, or at least, the unchangeable nature of the “engine” that the system has developed over centuries was more  or less defined almost one hundred years ago by important thinkers. In the circumstances of the late eighteenth century, Marx could only imagine the rapid transformation of capital into something totally different at the next stage: A new form which is completely independent from the industrial production but having the ability to affect and even dominate it. Rudolf Hilferding clearly recognized the characteristics and tendency of this new structural change in the early twentieth century and named it simply the finance-capital – banking capital in money form, which was actually being transformed into industrial capital. A few years later, Lenin stated that “the supremacy of finance-capital over all other forms of capital meant the predominance of the rentier and of the financial oligarchy.”