Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/569/7004

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2009

Marx was right all along

"He certainly knew a thing or two about the business cycle"

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

"As capitalism stares into the abyss, was Marx right all along?" This is not from The Socialist but from Stephen King, HSBC Banking Group's Chief Economist, writing in The Independent (2 March). Moreover, he answers his own question in the affirmative.

Peter Taaffe

Any bosses and their political hangers-on who read The Independent must have been choking on their breakfast cereal as he recalled Marx's words in the Communist Manifesto: "Modern bourgeois society ... a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells."

King concludes from this: "Whatever else one thinks of Marx, he certainly knew a thing or two about the business cycle. Were he alive now, he would surely claim his theories were being vindicated."

Yet, "For many years, Marxist ideas appeared to be totally irrelevant. The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 brought to an end the era of Marxist-Leninist Communism." But now, as the system collapses, Marx's ideas have come roaring back.

He approvingly quotes Marx on the nature of crises: ".....the commercial crises... by their periodical return, put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly.

"In these crises, a great part, not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, is periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity - the epidemic of over-production."

This apt description of the present capitalist crisis, which threatens to topple over into a depression, does not escape King. Faced with this 'abyss', he points to the inevitable intervention of the capitalist state in an attempt to save the system. This will take the form not just of state takeovers, openly or by stealth, of the banks and maybe other failing industries but also the "interference in the price mechanism" witnessed by the attacks on the bankers' pensions, says King.

These measures "may be absolutely necessary to prevent an outright collapse in global economic activity [but]... there will be no return to 'business as usual' for market forces." This confirms what The Socialist has argued since the beginning of this crisis.

As to the future: "We may avoid a 1930s Depression but, increasingly, we may find the best we can hope for is a 1990s Japan. Not quite a Marxist revolution, then, but certainly a lasting sea-change in economic performance."

This is for him a necessary qualification. King is not about to accept the full implication of the ideas of Marx: "I'm not suggesting we're entering revolutionary times." [God forbid! - PT] This crisis is so serious that Marx's broad economic analysis is confirmed in the daily avalanche of facts which denote that British and world capitalism is 'falling off the cliff'.

Moreover, there has been a huge radicalisation in Greece and elsewhere, and in time revolutionary storms will result from this crisis. As King testifies, even capitalist economists are now seriously questioning the future of their system.

They still hope that 'somehow' they will be able to escape from this crisis. There is no 'final crisis of capitalism', as Lenin pointed out, unless the working class changes society. Big business will always seek a way out through attacks on the working class.

But there is no going back to the situation of the last 30 years of worldwide capitalist 'deregulation'. The working class, assisted by socialists and Marxists and a revitalised labour movement, will resist and Marx's ideas will be embraced by increasing numbers of workers and young people.

Marx did not just make economic predictions about capitalism but drew bold, active, socialist conclusions. "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world; the point is to change it." Mass working-class action is necessary to replace an outmoded, inefficient and wasteful system, capitalism, with a democratic, socialist planned economy.

By full involvement of working and middle class people through popular control and management of industry and society, we can begin the organisation and planning of the resources of society for all and not, as is the case now, to satisfy the discredited handful of greedy bankers and capitalists.

Stephen King has provided us with further ammunition to achieve this.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 3 March 2009:

Bosses get pay-offs, workers get layoffs

RBS pension scandal: Not a penny for these fat cats!

Hands off our post!

Stop Labour's mail sell-off


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Marx was right all along


Socialist Party feature

Has globalisation gone into reverse?

Our democratic rights under attack by Labour


Socialist Students

Anti-fees demo success - despite NUS leaders' obstructions

Cardiff student occupation: University divests from arms trade


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs

The route


Construction workers

Construction workers plan more action

Message from strike leader


Socialist Party workplace news

Stop bullying at BT

Fight the cuts in Nottingham!

Sogefi workers demand strike

NUJ action

Cover supervisors: Teaching on the cheap

National Shop Stewards Network: Brighton launch meeting


Socialist Party women

International Women's Day 8 March: Don't make women pay for the bosses' crisis

Make all women's issues trade union issues

Solidarity with Constantina Kuneva


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: Scrap the 'pension levy': Organise a one-day general strike

Kashmir: Health workers win demands


May Day

Support The Socialist on May Day this year


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 March 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Marx:

triangleCapitalist journal's warning to the bosses: Marx was right, watch out!

triangleCapitalism condemned

triangleThe real origins of May Day

triangleSalford Socialist Party: The inspirational life of Eleanor Marx

triangle"After seeing the branch's effect in the community, I decided to join"

Capitalism:

triangleFeatured letter: disabled workers want our voices heard, not charity

triangleForeign aid corruption: capitalism to blame

triangleSocialists tell free marketeers "the pitchforks are coming" in Durham debate

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

Capitalist:

triangleFrance - Huge voter abstention belies Macron's 'landslide' election

triangleMay and Tories must go!

Marxism

Marxism

30/3/16

Tax

Fighting the great tax robbery: taxes and regulation or socialist nationalisation?

21/1/14

Lenin

Lenin's revolutionary legacy

20/9/13

Economic crisis

The Causes of Capitalist Crisis; Reply to Andrew Kliman

31/7/13

Marx

Book review: Karl Marx - How to change the world

5/6/13

Parliament

1983: A political voice for the working class

10/10/12

Marx

Marx was right!

29/8/12

Trotsky

Leon Trotsky: A revolutionary's life

14/6/12

Lenin

Lenin's April Theses, 1917

22/2/12

Capitalism

What's wrong with capitalism?

23/3/11

Socialism

What has socialism got to do with fighting the cuts?

14/10/10

General strike

The general strike: Important tool of the working class

18/8/10

Trotsky

The legacy of Leon Trotsky

29/7/10

Trotsky

In defence of Leon Trotsky

18/11/09

Trotsky

Service with a snarl: Robert Service refuses to answer questions

7/7/09

Trotsky

Stalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky

triangleMore Marxism articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle24 Jun Camden evacuation - residents expose fire risks

triangle21 Jun Justice for Grenfell and safety for all

triangle21 Jun Cabin crew calls two-week walkout over blacklisting accusations

triangle21 Jun Anger and grief on moving Grenfell marches

triangle21 Jun The Queen's Speech; and defending the right to protest

triangle20 Jun Whole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire

triangle20 Jun Tories and May stagger on amid crisis - get them out!

More ...

triangle25 Jun East Midlands Socialist Party: Rebellion - Then and Now

triangle29 Jun Swansea Socialist Party: Dublin - Jobstown verdict; What it means

triangle1 Jul London: Tories Out national demonstration

triangle3 Jul West Cheshire Socialist Party: Prepare for the next steps towards JC4PM

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2