[Marxism] Marx's crisis theory

Angelus Novus fuerdenkommunismus at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 10 10:39:24 MDT 2013

Ralph Johansen wrote:

> I certainly don't know how this is all going to settle out, but what 
> convinced me in reading Kliman's The Failure of Capitalist Production 
> was that he seemed there to have established empirically the fall in the > rate of profit

The thing is, "the rate of profit" is not a statistical category that any government measures.  You can't just go look up "the rate of profit" in the Statistical Abstract of the United States or the Economic Report of the President.

So instead, you need a method for calculating "the rate of profit" on the basis of the available statistical material, and as Doug Henwood has pointed out repeatedly, guys like Kliman arrange their calculations in such a way so that the results end up "proving" the doctrinal shibboleth they aim to defend.

Here is an article by Doug that I think uses a sensible approach of dividing profits of nonfinancial corporations according to the National Income and Product Accounts from the Department of Commerce by the value of capital stock from the Fed's flow of funds accounts.  As you can see, he comes to quite different conclusions from those who see an inexorable fall in the rate of profit:


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