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"What are the Limits to Capitalism?," Committee on Social Theory Public Lecture

Patterson Office Tower, 18th Floor
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Dr. Alex Callinicos

Held in conjunction with ST 600 "Market Failure, Famines and Crises," Dr. Alex Callinicos is the fourth speaker in the Committee on Social Theory Spring Lecture Series. The 2007-8 financial crash and the deep recession and weak recovery that followed have exposed serious flaws in our economic system. But how deep do they lie? Are the faults simply a matter of poor financial regulation or banks that are too big to fail? Karl Marx argued that ' The true barrier to capitalist production is capital itself.’ In other words, capitalism is subject to inherent limits arising from its nature as a system based on class exploitation and driven by competitive accumulation. This lecture will seek to show how a Marxist understanding of capitalism can identify the interaction between deep-seated structural tendencies towards crisis and the cycle of boom and bust in the financial markets responsible for what some commentators are beginning to call the Long Depression. At a time when a new study by French economist Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century, has identified an inherent trend towards growing economic inequality, Marx’s original Capital repays renewed study. Dr. Callinicos is a professor of European Studies at King's College London. His latest book is The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx (Haymarket), 2012.

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