Taking a Long View: The Developmental Potential of Capitalism

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    The purpose of this paper is to discuss capitalism’s long-term prospects. To some extent I draw on material and arguments I have presented elsewhere (Ougaard, 2014; Ougaard, 2015a; Ougaard, 2015b); the present intention is to bring these elements together and combine them with other material to elaborate an argument about capitalism’s long term devel-opmental potential. On some points the argument resembles recent gloomy diagnoses for-warded by Wolfgang Streeck (Streeck, 2014a; Streeck, 2014b) and Andrew Gamble (Gamble, 2014), but is also offers an alternative to their interpretations by taking a global perspective which leads to a more positive assessment. I will do this from a historical materialist perspective and therefore I begin with a discussion of the long view in Marx. This leads on to a discussion of Marx’s law of the long term declining rate of profit (LTFRP) and its counteracting factors (CFs). The next step is, drawing on regulation theory, to relate the mobilization of such CFs to the successive stages of capitalist development after World War Two, up to the present crisis, and after this, in the final two sections I discuss the potential for mobilizing ‘surplus labour’ in the world’s agrarian regions as a CF and the limitations and implications of this.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages24
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations: The Worlds of Violence - Giardini Naxos, Italy
    Duration: 23 Sep 201526 Sep 2015
    Conference number: 9


    Conference9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations
    CityGiardini Naxos
    Internet address

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