By Alex Callinicos
Whatever dramatic occurred within the overdue summer season and autumn of 2008. The post-Cold battle global got here to an abrupt finish. This was once the results of conjoined crises. First, in its short struggle 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 road funding financial institution Lehman Brothers collapsed. This caused a serious monetary crash and helped to push the area economic system into the worst stoop because the 1930s.
Both crises marked a serious setback for the worldwide strength of the us, which had pushed NATO growth and compelled during the liberalization of monetary markets. extra extensively they challenged the consensus that had reigned because the cave in of the Soviet bloc in 1989 US-orchestrated liberal capitalist order may well supply the realm peace and prosperity. Already badly broken by way of the Iraq debacle, this consensus has now suffered in all likelihood deadly blows.
In Bonfire of Illusions Alex Callinicos explores those dual crises. He lines the credits crunch that constructed in 2007-8 to a way more protracted obstacle of overaccumulation and profitability that has gripped international capitalism because the overdue Nineteen Sixties. He additionally confronts the interplay among monetary and geopolitical occasions, highlighting the recent assertiveness of realms and analysing the annoying, advanced dating of interdependence and clash that binds jointly the U.S. and China. ultimately, according to the revelation that the marketplace isn't the way to the world's difficulties, Callinicos experiences the customers for choices to capitalism.
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Additional resources for Bonfire of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World
41 This might seem to make Marxism particularly helpful in unravelling the perplexities of a world in dramatic flux both economically and geopolitically. In any case, it is Marxist political economy that informs and organizes this book. What does this mean? In many ways Marx’s most important insight lay in conceiving, as he put it, capital as a social relation. To put it more formally, the capitalist mode of production is constituted by two antagonistic social relationships (or structural contradictions), namely that between capital and wage-labour and that between capitals themselves.
54 Harvey As we have already seen, Marx believes that capitalism is driven by a process of competitive accumulation. Indi- Finance Humbled 45 vidual capitals seek to realize super-profits by investing in technological innovations that will reduce their costs of production below the average and thereby allow them to undercut their competitors. Other things being equal, the effect will be to increase the organic composition of capital, in other words, the ratio between constant capital, which is invested in the means of production, and variable capital, which is advanced to employ wage-labourers to operate these means of production and thereby to produce commodities.
Here small numbers of investment banks came to play a dominant economic role, thanks to the dependence of industrial firms on them to mobilize the capital required to invest on a scale necessary to overcome Britain’s inherited competitive advantage. A version of this kind of ‘coordinated capitalism’, based on tight networks integrating investment banks and industrial firms, continues to Finance Humbled 25 prevail in Germany and Japan, but it never took hold in Britain and declined in the US after 1945.