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[Related reviews or critiques of Anwar Shaikh’s theorizing of capital : a) Capitalism and Anwar Shaikh ; and b) Three Books on Marxist Political Economy(Pt.1)/Three Books on Marxist Political Economy (Pt 2)]

Published on Oct 20, 2016



This event titled “Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises” was presented by Anwar Shaikh and was held as part of the Development Studies Seminar Series at SOAS University of London on 11 October 2016.

You can find out more about this event at https://goo.gl/DDLa7v

This lecture attempts to show that one can explain these and many other observed patterns as results of intrinsic forces that shape and channel outcomes. Social and institutional factors play an important role, but at the same time, the factors are themselves limited by the dominant forces arising from “gain-seeking”; behaviour, of which the profit motive is the most important. These dominant elements create an invisible force field that shapes and channels capitalist outcomes. The approach of this book is very different from that of both orthodox economics and the dominant elements in the heterodox tradition.

There is no reference whatsoever to an idealised framework rooted in perfect firms, perfect individuals, perfect knowledge, perfectly selfish behaviour, rational expectations, and so-called optimal outcomes. Nor is there any need to explain particular observed patterns as departures from this Edenic state arising from “imperfections” of various sorts. The talk develops microeconomic and macroeconomic theory from real behaviour and real competition, and uses it to explain empirical patterns in microeconomic demand and supply, wages and profits, technological change, relative prices of goods and services, interest rates, bond and equity prices, exchange rates, patterns of international trade, growth, unemployment, inflation, national and personal inequality, and the recurrence of general crises, such as the current one which began in 2007-2008.

Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)