National Sections of the L5I:

The Credit Crunch - A Marxist Analysis


The issue consists of four parts. The first, unusually for us, is a collection of previously published articles from Workers Power and Fifth International. Each of them deals with the financial crisis as it emerged at the time. As each article was intended to be self-standing and not to form part of a more general publication, several of them attempt not only a straightforward explanation of the events that shook the credit and banking system, but also a popular exposition of the basic Marxist theory of credit, overaccumulation and crisis. There is therefore necessarily some repetition, but we decided not to remove it because to do so would harm the flow of the argument in the articles. We also want to reprint each article as a matter of record. We believe they show that, notwithstanding the occasional inaccuracy or oversimplification, in general we understood the magnitude of the unfolding events, that we explained their meaning and their likely impact on the class struggle, and that we avoided both 'catastrophist' hysteria and its opposite and logical complement  complacent faith in the capacity of the system to avert crisis. Read more...

Our analysis as the credit crunch developed

Chapter 1 of the book is made up of the following articles which were published as events developed. Read more...

Karl Marx’s Theory of Crisis

A short overview of Marx's theory of crisis, his analysis of the capitalist trade-industrial cycle, and its explanatory power in the context of the great crisis of 2007-09. Read more...

Imperialism and the Decline of Capitalism

If Marx’s model of the capitalist cycle is still sufficient to explain modern day crises, what is the significance of Lenin’s analysis of imperialism in the age of globalisation? This article examines the contemporary applicability of imperialism theory and argues that it remains essential for an understanding of capitalism’s past development and future prospects, by Michael Pröebsting [Editors note - this article does not include the graphs and tables from the printed version] Read more...

What are productive forces?

Keith Spencer explains what Marxists mean by the term 'productive forces' Read more...

Globalisation and the Myth of the New Long Wave

This article examines the controversial theory of 'long waves' of capitalist development and goes on to analyse the nature of the globalisation period of capitalism between 1990 and 2007. Read more...

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From Resistance to Revolution

ImageThe current programme of the League for the Fifth International, published in 2011

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The Credit Crunch - a Marxist Analysis


What caused the credit crunch? Some said lenders got “too greedy”. Others blamed the regulators. Yet more denied it was even happening. The Credit Crunch – A Marxist Analysis offers a radically different explanation.

Charting how the events unfolded, and drawing on Karl Marx’s theory of crisis, Richard Brenner and Michael Pröbsting argue that the credit crunch foreshadows a crisis of globalisation.

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Available to read online