Karl Marx is hot

Karl Marx

Image by Dunechaser via Flickr

Joe Weisenthal in Business Insider:

With things going the way they are, a lot of people are talking about big history in action, whether it’s the breakup of the Eurozone, or the simultaneous market/economic/political spasm happening in the US.

Today Paul Krugman reminds us once again that this could be 1937 all over again.

Simon Johnson thinks it could be even worse: The long depression of the 1870s all over again.

Recently Nouriel Roubini got a lot of attention for saying that Marx basically got the battle between labor and capital correct, and that capitalism itself now stood on the brink of collapse.

And even on Wall Street…

UBS’ George Magnus has a big piece out on political economy favorably quoting Karl Marx[…]

Again, you know it’s a real panic when everyone’s trotting out the old guys, and even capitalists think Marx got the endgame right.

Here’s what Roubini said:

“Karl Marx said it right. At some point capitalism can self-destruct itself because you cannot keep on shifting income from labor to capital without having excess capacity and a lack of aggregate demand,” Roubini said. “That’s what’s happening. We thought the markets work. They’re not working.”

Zombie Marx

Recommended reading, following on from the above: Mike Beggs in Jacobin on “Zombie Marx”, starting with Brad DeLong’s attacks on David Harvey, but moving on to a fascinating discussion of which elements of Marx’s economic theory are relevant today, and how we should approach Marx’s work. Also read: Norman Geras on gravediggers and skeletons.

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