Sustainability and Counteracting Factors to Profit Rate Decline

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    This paper discusses sustainability implications of barriers to growth as specified in the theory of the long-term falling rate of profit but focusing on the counteracting factors (CFs) specified by Marx. These depend much on political processes and are important in state theory for understanding policies of national and international institutions. Fourteen partly overlapping factors are identified and grouped in five categories: increased pressure on labor, geographical expansion, resource efficiency, technological progress, and destruction or devaluation of capital. It is suggested that there are limits to all of them and also that there is much room for continued capitalist growth. While the drive toward resource efficiency can contribute to sustainability, other CFs work against this. But increased sustainability requires the retirement of resource inefficient and carbon intensive technologies which implies a destruction of capital that will counteract the falling rate of profit. This will require sustained political intervention.
    TidsskriftInnovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research
    Udgave nummer3
    Sider (fra-til)220-237
    Antal sider18
    StatusUdgivet - 2014


    • Sustainability
    • Green growth
    • Marx
    • State theory
    • Declining rate of profit
    • Counteracting factors