The first complete German and English editions
“Habent sua fata libelli.”
(Books have their fates.)
Read this book presentation: ‘Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution’ (G.I.C.,1935)
From: ‘De Nieuwe Tijd’ (Vol.21 #5, May 5, 1916)
By way of an introduction
For a critique of the theory of the decline of capitalism, Pannekoek is important because he has always opposed the view that capitalism would automatically and irreparably collapse. In “The Economic Necessity of Imperialism” (1916) he summarizes his critique of Luxemburg’s substantiation of the saturation of the markets at the hand of Marx’s reproduction diagrams. We will not go into this further, but will point out that the ICC’s theory of decadence relies on Luxemburg’s argument. Further, Pannekoek has undermined the tendency of the rate of profit to fall as a theoretical underpinning of Grossman’s and Mattick’s theory of crisis as well. Instead of an automatic and irreparable collapse of capitalism and an economic necessity of imperialism, Pannekoek argues that the periodic crises arise from the imbalance between economic factors inherent in capitalism, respectively that they are a social and political necessity following from the power of big capital. Only at the margins of his reflections Pannekoek speaks of an end to capitalism in a then – in 1916 and 1946 respectively – distant future: through the exhaustion of the “material” conditions for the expansion of production. In 1916 these are “unlimited quantities” of raw materials in nature; in 1946 he already speaks of “the raw adventurous methods of capital – which in all continents are in the process of destroying the fertility of the earth”. Not unimportant, and even highly topical in the light of the current environmental and health crises. The second material condition mentioned by Pannekoek that capitalism would no longer be able to fulfill is that of a labor force in “sufficient” quantities to expand production.
F.C., January 2021
First internationalist statements on the failed coup attempt by a political adventurer (Extracts)
The assault on the Capitol on January 6 by an extremist mob of Trump-fanatics in a stillborn last ditch attempt to “subvert” the outcome of the US presidential election of November 3 – the clear loss for the ‘Republican’ candidacy to that of the ‘Democrats’ – and the prompt initiation by the US Congress, on January 13, of a second impeachment procedure against its main instigator for “high crimes and misdemeanors”, mark the end of a rogue presidency bent on undermining the institutional framework of the worlds’ most powerful bourgeois democracy. These events highlight the rifts within its ranks, first of all within a ‘Republican Party’ exposed for enabling a political adventurer to surf on the tide of right-wing populism and extremism.
Whereas the security precautions for the certification ceremony on January 6 had appeared to be surprisingly weak and inefficient (entailing casualties in the row on both sides), one week before the inauguration of the Biden-Harris presidency Washington D.C. has been turned into an armed fortress, and the country as a whole has been put on alert against further disruptive actions expected from the right-wing extremist spectrum and its militia.
The hallucinating events have led to a number of first statements and communiqués by internationalist groups and individuals that we document by extracts, in chronological order.
(Last updated: February 11, 2021)
Apropos of the recently started series The Falsehoods of the International Communist Current (ICC) — A Critique, we have opened a new section on our topics pages, which collects Discussion Contributions on the Question of Capitalism’s Decadence by commentators of this work in progress.
At present it contains the following essays:
Decline and Senility of Capitalism with Marx, Engels and Communism.
A critical recapitulation and determination of capitalism’s historical phase (Anibal & materia, May 22, 2020)
Some Key Questions for Luxemburg’s Theory of Accumulation.
Problems for the modern day supporters of Luxemburg’s theory of total dependence on precapitalist markets (Link, November 27, 2020)
This section may be updated with new contributions. We invite interested readers to send in their commentaries and/or contributions. Please read the modalities in the Colophon.