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The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China Hardcover – September 1, 2012


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The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China + The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences + Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The authors carefully develop a powerful case that the normal state of 'really existing capitalist economies,' increasingly dominated by multinational megacorporations along with associated financialization, is not growth with occasional recession, but rather stagnation with occasional escapes that have diminishing prospects. Hence an 'endless crisis,' endless in both time and space, including China. And a crisis that is heading towards disaster unless there is a radical change of course. This valuable inquiry should be carefully studied and pondered, and should be taken as an incentive to action."-Noam Chomsky

"Chilling in its analysis of the evolution of global capitalism and the contours of the global class struggle . . . you cannot but ask the question: 'When do we get serious about a strategy for the Left to respond to the system of modern day robber-barons that Foster and McChesney so well analyze?'"-Bill Fletcher, Jr., BlackCommentator.com; author of Solidarity Divided and 'They're Bankrupting us' And Twenty Other Myths about Unions

"Very effectively integrates analysis of the development, character, and impact of monopoly-finance capital, which includes the now global and immense reserve army of labor, and with stagnation tendencies harder and harder to overcome. They also demonstrate well the urgency of working class organization on a global basis."-Edward S. Herman, Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

"A compelling discussion of the central economic reality of our time: that the Wall Street collapse and Great Recession of 2007-09 was a human calamity whose effects are ongoing. Foster and McChesney explore the underlying causes of the crisis as a result of the normal operations of capitalism in its contemporary neoliberal variant. Their discussions on financialization, monopoly power, imperialism, and other topics all provide opportunities for us to think more clearly about what is wrong with the societies we live in and how to advance a transformative political project in behalf of equality and social justice."-Robert Pollin, Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

"The most important book yet to appear on stagnation, the central problem of modern economic reality. Essential reading for serious liberal, heterodox, radical, and all open-minded economic thinkers."-Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism, and Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland

"In the distinguished tradition of Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy, Foster and McChesney here combine grim analysis with bleak prognosis, reminding us that monopoly power disappeared from the textbooks but not from real life. This is a useful book for anyone raised on the reflexive American optimism of the post-war years."-James K. Galbraith, author of Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis

About the Author

John Bellamy Foster is editor of Monthly Review. He is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and author of The Great Financial Crisis (with Fred Magdoff), The Ecological Rift and Critique of Intelligent Design (both with Brett Clark and Richard York), The Ecological Revolution, Ecology Against Capitalism, Marx’s Ecology, and The Vulnerable Planet.



Robert W. McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Political Economy of Media, Communication Revolution, The Problem of the Media, and Rich Media, Poor Democracy.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158367313X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583673133
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Bellamy Foster is editor of the independent socialist magazine Monthly Review. He is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and author of The Ecological Revolution, The Great Financial Crisis (with Fred Magdoff), Critique of Intelligent Design (with Brett Clark and Richard York), Naked Imperialism, Ecology Against Capitalism, Marx's Ecology, The Vulnerable Planet, and The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is a must read book in political economy.
Hans G. Despain
Foster and McChesney argue, and very convincingly, that the rise of "Finance Capital" is due precisely to the crisis of accumulation that is endemic to capitalism.
All Systems Fail
One persistent protest at hearing the above arguments is that developing nations, especially China, will bring the world economy out of its slump.
Daniel Colligan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Hans G. Despain on October 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read book in political economy. It is a very sophisticated and innovative argument accessible to a general audience and will be of great interest to the expert.

This book follows off of the success of Foster and Fred Magdoff's "Great Financial Crisis" The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences. Whereas, the Foster and Magadoff book literally predicted in 2005-6 the financial collapse in 2007-8, "The Endless Crisis" predicts the problems are quite insolvable within the institutional design of Monopoly Capital.

The entrepreneurial function of society, fulfilled by financial institutions via the distribution of money as loans, radically depends on speculation. Speculation can be geared toward actual productive activity or toward simply making money from the change of stock/asset price. J.M. Keynes argued during a bubble speculation from changing prices drives the economy and dominantes production. Post-Keynesian best understand this aspect of Keynes and have developed the most important theory of the nature of money, noxious speculation, and the instability of capitalism as a function of finance (see Minsky's Stabilizing an Unstable Economy, Wray's Modern Money Theory: A Primer on Macroeconomics for Sovereign Monetary Systems, Hudson's
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Besek on December 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"The Endless Crisis" is by far the best analysis of contemporary global economic processes I have yet to read. In the deluge of books on the subject - especially those dealing with the economic crisis of the past half decade, it seems to me that only Foster and McChesney are able to place their analysis in proper historical context, able to base their analysis on proper material circumstance, and are beholden to no irrational policy agenda. The result is a work that is unrivaled in clarity and force, and one that also serves as a wonderful introduction to the Monthly Review school through analysis of contemporary affairs.
While most other accounts focus on globalization, the slowing down of economic growth rates and/or the financialization of the world economy; most miss the essential fact that monopoly capital is perhaps the driving force shaping contemporary economic processes. Monopoly here is not understood as a dominant single seller, but rather as firms that - through processes of concentration (accumulation proper) and centralization (absorption of one capital by another) - are able to exercise sufficient market power to influence price, output, investment and thus limit competition. This tendency towards monopoly capital is in general the logical result of capitalist competition as larger capitals almost always dominant the smaller, and the more capital can secure accumulation through creating barriers to others the more barriers will be created. From this foundation globalization, the slowing down of economic growth rates and the financialization of the world economy are analyzed.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Systemic Disorder on December 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Authors John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney marshal an impressive collection of material to present an understanding of the capitalist dynamics that have brought the world to its present state of crisis and why that is the natural outcome of these dynamic forces, examining the crisis from a global perspective.

They argue persuasively that, in the absence of dramatic innovations such as the automobile or the steam engine, which have not occurred for several decades, stagnation is the expected norm, particularly in "mature" capitalist economies. Nor will hoped-for demand from "emerging" economies such as China and India be able to make up for stagnant demand in the advanced capitalist countries. China and India contain too large a reserve army of underemployed labor for wages to substantially increase there; therefore Chinese and Indian consumption will not be a path out of world economic crisis as many orthodox economists and political leaders have hoped, according to The Endless Crisis.

Orthodox economics, dominated by rigid Chicago School thinking, completely failed to predict the financial meltdown and subsequent stagnation. The reason for that lies in orthodox economics existing as an ideological campaign that long ago severed itself from analyzing the real world. In strong contrast, The Endless Crisis explodes ideological myth-making.

The book is a very needed departure from the usual apologetics for capitalist outcomes. The authors provide a single source for understanding the present economic impasse, laying out with devastating precision the reasons for the economic crisis, the inevitability of crisis, the inequality and instability inherent in the capitalist system, and the need to move to a more humane system.
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