Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914? (IV)

Over the last summer, one of the participants in the discussion on this site has engaged in an exchange at the ICC’s online forum apropos of the character of economic growth (“Growth as Decay”). As he has defended the position and questionings put forward in his text Is Decadence an Economic Phenomenon?, (Link, May 17, 2021), we have asked the author for a brief appreciation of this exchange. His summary can be read in the remainder of this post, on page 2.

In a new discussion text: What are fetters on the productive forces? the latter develops his views on the criteria for discerning whether a historical mode of production is in its ascendancy or in its period of historical decline in a more explicit way. He does so in reply to other contributions on this site, and specifically to C.Mcl’s., in which he seems to miss a due appreciation of the profound transformations of capitalism’s mode of functioning since the beginning of the 20th Century (for instance monopolies, imperialism and state capitalism). The text puts in question a way of conceiving the transformation of the relations of production from “forms of development” of the “forces of production” into their “fetters” – to use the terms of Marx in 1859 – that the author considers as more or less ‘purely economic’, or “economistic”, and which he regards as the underlying, common ground of most adversaries in this controversy, notably of both the ICC and C.Mcl. The text argues that rather factors ‘exterior’ to a mode of production’s core dynamic need to be taken into account to explain its ascendancy or decline.

We hope these new contributions lead to critical reflections and replies by our readers and contributors.

The Editor, December 12, 2021.

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