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The Law of Accumulation and Breakdown of the Capitalist System

Focusing on Marx's theory of crisis, Grossman aims to show that radical assessments of Marx's theory suffer from a failure to appreciate the scientific nature of his method. He especially refutes those Marxists who cling to the results of the theory, thus isolating particular themes from the body of Marx's "Capital" and expanding these into comprehensive explanations of the development of capitalism. Grossman suggests that Marx's method is the key to understanding capitalist production as a contradictory social movement - on the one hand a system for producing the general material needs of society and, on the other, a system motivated by the restricted aim of private accumulation.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Tony Kennedy Henryk Grossmann and the Theory of Capitalist Collapse Tony Kennedy Introduction by Henryk Grossmann 1. The Downfall of Capitalism in the Existing Literature The point at issue The conception of breakdown in the existing literature How Kautsky finally abandoned Marx's theory of accumulation and of breakdown Notes 2. The Law of Capitalist Breakdown Is there a theory of breakdown in Marx? Preliminary methodological remarks The equilibrium theory of the neo-harmonists The conditions and tasks of schematic analysis Why was classical economy alarmed by the fall in the rate of Profit despite an expanding mass of profit? The views of classical economists on the future of capitalism The Marxist theory of accumulation and breakdown Marx's theory of breakdown is also a theory of crises An anti-critical interlude The logical and mathematical basis of the law of breakdown Why the Marxist theory of accumulation and breakdown was misunderstood The factors of the breakdown and the business cycle Crises and the theory of underconsumption The elasticity of accumulation The restricted development of productive forces under Capitalism The Marxist theory of imperfect valorisation Notes 3. Modifying Countertendencies Introduction Part 1: Countertendencies Internal to the Mechanism of Capital Increases in the rate of profit through the expansion of productivity Reducing the costs of variable capital through increases in productivity Shortening the turnover time and its impact on the rate of surplus value The additional money capital required for an expanded scale of production The conflict between use value and exchange value The emergence of new spheres of production with a lower Organic composition of capital The struggle to abolish groundrent The struggle to eliminate the commercial profit The economic function of `third persons' Expanding the scale of production on the existing technological basis: simple accumulation The periodic devaluation of capital on the accumulation process The expansion of share capital The accumulation of capital and the problem of population Part 2: Restoring Profitability through World Market Domination Introduction: The economic function of imperialism The function of foreign trade under capitalism Foreign trade and world monopolies The function of capital exports under capitalism Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Henryk Grossmann (1881-1950) was born in Cracow and studied law and economics in Cracow and Vienna. In 1925 he joined the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt. He left Germany in the 1930s and returned to become Professor of Political Economy at Leipzig University in 1949.


'One of the seminal works of Marxian political economy' -- Science & Society

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