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Piketty and the Crisis of Neoclassical Economics

Not since the Great Depression of the 1930s has it been so apparent that the core capitalist economies are experiencing secular stagnation, characterized by slow growth, rising unemployment and underemployment, and idle productive capacity. Consequently, mainstream economics is finally beginning to recognize the economic stagnation tendency that has long been a focus in these pages, […]

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Braverman and the Structure of the U.S. Working Class

The fortieth anniversary of Harry Braverman’s Labor and Monopoly Capital is the occasion here for a reassessment of his work as a whole. Braverman’s analysis of the degradation of work is shown to have been only a part of a much larger argument he was developing on the structure of the U.S. working class. Building on his […]

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The Theory of Unequal Ecological Exchange

A world-system analysis of the ecological rift generated by capitalism requires as one of its elements a developed theory of the unequal ecological exchange between center and periphery. After reviewing the literature on unequal exchange (both economic and ecological) from Ricardo and Marx to the present, a new approach is provided, based on a critical […]

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The Plight of the U.S. Working Class

Modern capitalism, sociologist Max Weber famously observed early in the twentieth century, is based on “the rational capitalistic organization of (formally) free labor.” But the “rationality” of the system in this sphere, as Weber was to acknowledge elsewhere, was so restrictive as to be in reality “irrational.” Despite its formal freedom, labor under capitalism was substantively unfree.… This was in […]

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Marx and the Rift in the Universal Metabolism of Nature

The rediscovery over the last decade and a half of Marx’s theory of metabolic rift has come to be seen by many on the left as offering a powerful critique of the relation between nature and contemporary capitalist society. The result has been the development of a more unified ecological world view transcending the divisions […]

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