Crisis theory

See also :

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

To go beyond capitalism: Abolish the wages system


On Nicholas Bukharin's Criticism of Rosa Luxembourg's Theses

Communism is an age-old dream of humanity -- a dream as old as class society. Ever since men, in order to survive materially within nature, have been forced to divide their community into antagonistic classes, they have dreamed of a reunited human community -- a communist society.

This dream tends to appear more forcibly when class society enters into crisis. Today this project is more real than ever. A class exists which can make it concrete: the working class. But it is by understanding what crisis society is suffering from, that we can understand why this class is historically revolutionary, and how it must act. This is why Marxism remains indispensable for revolutionary consciousness. This is why it is necessary to go back over the debates that have taken place in the workers' movement on the conceptions of the capitalist crisis and their consequences.

To understand the crisis is to understand how to go beyond capitalism

"As an ideal of a social order based on frater­nity and equality between men, as an ideal of a communist, society, socialism dates back thou­sands of years. With the first Christian apostles, and for various mediaeval religious sects during the peasant wars, the idea of socialism has never ceased to appear as the most radical expression of revolt against the exist­ing order. But precisely in this form of an ideal, desirable at any time and place in history, socialism was no more than the beauti­ful dream of a few visionaries -- a golden dream as unattainable as a rainbow in the clouds.

(...) One man drew the ultimate conclusion from the theory of the capitalist mode of' production, by placing himself, right from the start, at the viewpoint of the revolutionary proletariat ‑- Karl Marx. For the first time, socialism and the modern workers' movement stood on the unshak­able ground of scientific knowledge." (Rosa Luxembourg, Introduction to Political Economy, Ch. l, Pt.5)

For years, the streets filled with cars shining under the flash of neon lights made it seem as if the economic crisis would never be seen again. The yellowing photos of the 1930s unemployed had been stored away along with the pictures of Napoleonic battles and mediaeval famines. The Marxist revolutionaries who spent their time, as they had done for almost a century, announcing the inevitability of the capitalist crisis, were classed in more or less the same category as the Jehovah Witnesses with their unceasing ‘the end of the world is nigh'. Bourgeois bureaucrats and specialists in ‘social questions' proclaimed ‘the resounding bankruptcy of Marxism'.

Today, the pride of place in papers all over the world is regularly taken by the deepening of an economic crisis whose end no-one any longer dares to predict....and whose dimensions no-one had foreseen.

A fine revenge for those who, ever since the mid-nineteenth century, have tried to define a vision of the world unobscured by the ideologi­cal filters of those who profit from the system: a vision that rejects the idea of capit­alism as an eternal system of production; that is always able to consider capitalism in its historical dimensions, that is to say, as a sys­tem destined to disappear, along with slavery and feudal serfdom!

Marxism is essentially the theoretical effort to view the world from the standpoint of the class directly exploited by capitalism -- the proleta­riat -- with the aim of its revolutionary overthrow. It is the attempt to understand what today is the objective basis for the necessity and possibility of revolutionary action by this class.

For Marxism, the communist revolution is possible and necessary only to the extent that capitalism shows itself unable to carry out the historical function of every economic system in history: to allow men to satisfy their material needs. Its inability to go on fulfilling this function appears in reality as an economic crisis paralyzing the productive process.

A large-scale proletarian struggle has never occurred outside periods of economic crisis. Without the economic crisis, there can be no workers' revolution. Only the collapse of the economy is strong enough to destabilize the soc­ial order to the point where society's vital force, the world proletariat, and with it all the world's exploited, will be able to build a new world, adapted to their own plans and to the tech­niques and potential of a humanity united by the will of the producers themselves.

The vectors of capitalism's existence, the evolu­tion of its forms of life, are also explained by the system's permanent struggle against its own contradictions, to avoid its economic crises. The leaders of world capital do not remain inac­tive in the face of their system developing internal contradictions and the ever more devas­tating crises that the exacerbation of these con­tradictions provoke. Imperialism, wars and the tendency to the absorption of society by the state, for example, are incomprehensible without knowing why capitalism is forced to have recourse to them. To understand the remedies that capital tries to apply to its sickness, we must under­stand the nature and causes of its disease, and therefore of its crises.

In the article ‘Crisis Theories from Marx to the Communist International' (International Review, no. 22), we insisted on the link between the theo­retical debates on the analysis of capitalist crises and such crucial problems for the workers' movement as the alternative between reform and revolution, or the proletariat's participation in imperialist wars.

The fundamental question posed by Bukharin's critique of Rosa Luxembourg's analysis of crises is above all that of the content of communism, the definition of the new society.

To be historically viable, the new society that will succeed capitalism must be able to prevent the reappearance of the conditions that block society today. The only thing we can be certain of is that communism, if it ever exists, will have overcome the present contradictions of capitalism.

Feudalism overcame slavery because it allowed men to subsist without depending on the pillage of other populations; in its turn, capitalism imposed itself historically in the face of feudalism's collapse, through its ability to allow the concentration of human and material productive forces that the fragmentation of society into autonomous and jealously isolated fiefdoms made impossible.

If we want to know what communism will be like, we must start by knowing what has gone wrong in present society: where is the machine blocked; what is it in capitalist relations of production that prevents men from producing for their ends. If we manage to determine what lies at the heart of the capitalist disease, we will be able to deduce the historically necessary characteristics­ of the future society.

Understanding the causes of capitalist crises thus means understanding how and why socialism is historically necessary and possible. It also means understanding who capitalism can be over­come, what must be destroyed and what are the bases of a real human community.

Behind the theoretical differences between Bukharin and Rosa Luxembourg's analyses of crises, there appear two radically different conceptions about the economic foundations of the new society to be built on the ruins of the old.

For Rosa Luxembourg, at the centre of capita­lism's contradictions lies the limit imposed on its development by the generalization of wage labor. From this point of view, the crucial question in the construction of communist society is therefore the abolition of wage labor.

For Bukharin, what is fundamental is capitalism's inability to overcome its internal divisions and to master the ‘anarchy' of its production. As a result, planification and the centralization of the means of production in the hands of the state, in themselves constitute the supersession of capitalism. In this way, Bukharin, referring to the Soviet Union, where state planning of production is highly developed, but wage labor continues to exist, speaks in 1924 of "the contradiction between the capitalist world and the new economic system of the Soviet Union".

It is this aspect that it is most important to bear in mind in replying to Bukharin's 1924 pamphlet criticizing Luxembourg's analysis: Imperialism and the Accumulation of Capital.

This aspect is the result of a different view of the analysis of capitalist crises -- of what blocks capitalist society.


Rosa Luxembourg's analysis of crises of overproduction

Capitalist crises take the form of crises of overproduction. Factories close, drowned by stocks of unsold goods, while at the same time the unemployed are thrown on the street, and the wages of those remaining in work are reduced. By destroying their mode of production, capitalism has destroyed the buying power of populations not integrated into the capitalist system. The most favored of these populations are integrated into the capitalist system as its slaves, while the rest -- two-thirds of humanity ‑- are reduced to starvation. ‘Overproduction' exists, not in relation to society's ‘absolute' needs, but in relation to its ‘solvent' needs, in other words, in relation to the buying power of a society dominated by capital.

The originality of Rosa Luxembourg's theses does not lie in her analysis of the fundamental, ‘ultimate' cause of capitalism's economic crises. As far as the ‘cause' is concerned, she is simply taking up the analysis of Marx.

"The ultimate reason for all real crises is always the poverty and limited consumption of the masses, faced with the tendency of the capi­talist economy to develop the productive forces as if their only limit were society's absolute power of consumption." (Marx, Capital, Vol. 3, Pt. 5)

For Luxembourg, as for Marx, capitalism is condemned to economic crises by the contradiction between its constant need, under the pressure of competition, to develop its productive capacity on the one hand; and on the other hand, its inab­ility to create by itself enough outlets to absorb an ever-growing mass of commodities. Capital is obliged at one and the same time to throw an ever greater mass of products for sale onto the market and to limit the buying power of its wage earning masses. As Marx put it:

"The particular condition of overproduction is the general law of the production of capital: to produce to the limit of the productive forces (that is to say, exploiting the greatest possible mass of labor with a given mass of capital), without taking account of the existing limits of the market or of solvent needs, and to do so by constantly enlarging production and accumulation, and so by constantly reconver­ting revenue into capital, while on the other hand, the mass of producers remains and must necessarily remain, due to the nature of capitalist production, limited to an average level of demand." (our emphasis) (Marx, Theories of Surplus Value, end of the 17th chapter)

Rosa Luxemburg takes up the same analysis of the basic cause of capitalist crises. Her contribution is at a more concrete and historical level. The question she answers is the follow­ing: when does this contradiction transform capitalist relations of production into a seri­ous barrier to the development of humanity's productive forces? Luxemburg replies: from the moment when capitalism has extended its domination throughout the world.

"The capitalist mode of production would be able to expand powerfully as long as it is continually able to thrust back outmoded forms of production. Its evolution lies in this direction. However, this evolution traps capitalism in the following fundamental contradiction: the more capitalism replaces backward modes of production, the narrower become the limits of the market created in its search for profit, in relation to the existing capitalist enterprises' need to expand." (R, Luxembourg, Introduction to Political Economy, final chapter)

For Luxembourg, capital finds the extra mar­kets that it needs to develop in the ‘non-capitalist' sector, capitalism's colonial expan­sion, which reached its height at the beginning of this century, expresses the search for new outlets by the main capitalist powers.

Luxembourg, moreover, is simply developing the idea expressed in the 1848 Communist Manifesto:

"The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe."

In the nineteenth century, while Marx was alive, capitalism went through a series of economic crises, According to the Manifesto, the bourgeoisie overcomes them "on the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces, on the other by the conquest of new markets, and by the, more thorough exploitation of the old ones."

For Rosa Luxembourg, a qualitative change appears in the life of world capital from the moment when ‘new markets' become increasingly scarce and inadequate in relation to the devel­opment of the capitalist powers. The appearance of new powers such as Germany and Japan on the world market at the beginning of the century thus leads to new crises. But unlike those of the nineteenth century, these can no longer be surmounted by the conquest of ‘new markets'. The ‘solutions' indicated by Marx and Engels in the Manifesto which now take on the greatest importance are: the improved exploitation of old markets and above all the destruction of the productive forces. The first world war, with its 24 million dead, a total and unrestrained kind of warfare bringing in its wake the systematic destruction of the capitals competing to seize each others' old markets, signified in all its horrific barbarism the end of capitalism's flourishing period.

Rosa Luxemburg's contribution to marxist theory thus consists essentially in her explanation of how the contradiction between production and consumption that has characterized capitalism since its birth leads it -- from the moment when it has spread its domination throughout the planet -- to imperialism and humanity's self-destruction, thus putting on the historical agenda its supersession by a society based on new relations of production.

If factories close for lack of solvent outlets, while humanity's material misery deepens, the only historical solution lies in the elimina­tion of the laws of the market, and of wage labor in particular.

By generalizing wage labor, capitalism has generalized the market as a mediation between men's activity as producers, and their activity as consumers. From this point of view, superseding capitalism means destroying this media­tion and re-establishing the direct link between production and consumption From the viewpoint of Luxembourg's analysis, the forward march of the revolution is identified with the struggle against wage labor (ie against the use of labor power as a commodity); its immediate aim must be to subordinate production to consumption, to orientate production directly towards men's material needs. There is no other way out.

A reply to Bukharin's criticisms of Rosa Luxembourg

Apart from its immediate aim -- the analysis of capitalist crises, Bukharin's work lies within the framework of the ‘Bolshevization of the parties of Communist International'[1] Bukharin takes on the job of ‘destroying' Luxembourg's analysis, and to do so he uses any­thing that comes to hand. He criticizes every­thing he sees, without always stopping to ask what might be the overall coherence of what he is analyzing, and without any fear of arriving at contradictions. Nonetheless, one finds for­mulated in this pamphlet the main criticisms of Luxembourg which have since been used by the Stalinists and Trotskyists, as much as by the Bordigists and ex-Trotskyists like Raya Dunayevskaya, The main point of this criticism can be formulated as follows:

Luxembourg is mistaken when she says that capital cannot create its own outlets to ensure its development; the problem that Luxembourg poses -- production for whom? -- is a false one; the workers can constitute a sufficient outlet to ensure this expansion; finally, Luxembourg's explanation of crises ignores or neglects the main contradictions pointed out by Marx - in particular the ‘anarchy' of capitalist production.

Can capital create its own outlets?

This is how Luxembourg poses the problem:

"What we have to explain are the main acts of social exchange, which are provoked by real economic needs (...) What we must prove is the economic demand for the surplus product ..." (RL, Accumulation of Capital, ch. 9)

For Luxembourg, following the theories of Marx, the development of capital, and its accumulation, is expressed in a growth in productive capacity and therefore in the product of the exploitation of workers -- the surplus product. Studying the conditions for this development therefore means, amongst other things, determining who buys this surplus production, who buys the part of social production left over once the workers have spent their wages, and once the capitalists have both paid for raw materials and wear and tear of machines, and extracted a part of the profit for their own personal consumption. In other words, who buys that part of the profit destined to be transformed into new capital, new means of exploitation of labor.

For the most part, capitalist production itself creates its market, its ‘real economic need': the mass of wages (variable capital), the expense of restoring wear on the productive apparatus and replacing the raw materials used, the expenses of the capitalists for their own personal consumption, all this constitutes a ‘real economic need', ‘solvent demand' from capital's point of view, All this makes up that part of production that capitalism can buy ‘back from itself'. But a part of what is produced remains to be sold: that part of the surplus product that the capitalists -- unlike feudal lords or the slave-owners of antiquity who personally consumed all their profit -- do not consume, so as to be able to increase their capital, to engage not just in ‘simple' reproduction to renew the productive cycle, but in ‘enlarged' reproduction. This part of production is very small in relation to the total mass. But capitalism depends on its ‘realization', that is, its sale, to continue its enlarged accumulation.

Rosa Luxembourg affirms that this part of the surplus value cannot, under capitalist conditions be sold either to the workers or to the capitalists. It cannot be used either to increase the consumption of the dominant class -- as in previous systems -- or for the workers' consumption.

"... the increasing consumption of the capitalist class cannot in any case be considered as the final aim of capitalist accumulation: on the contrary, to the extent that this production occ­urs and grows, there cannot be accumulation; the capitalists personal consumption falls into the category of simple reproduction. Rather, what we want to know is for whom the capitalists are pro­ducing when they ‘abstain' from consuming themselves the surplus value, ie when they accumu­late. Still less can the aim of capital accum­ulation from the capitalist viewpoint, be to maintain an ever more numerous army of workers. The workers' consumption is always a result of accumulation, never either its aim or its condition, unless the bases of capitalist pro­duction were to be overthrown. Moreover, the workers can only ever consume that part of the product, corresponding to variable capital and not a penny more. Who then realizes the constantly increasing surplus value?" (The Accumulation of Capital, ch.25)

And Luxembourg replies: the non-capitalist sectors. Capital cannot constitute a market for the whole of its production.

For whom do the capitalist produce?

Bukharin quotes this passage in his pamphlet and in reply, begins by putting in question the very way in which the question is posed:

"Firstly, can we pose the problem from the view­point of the subjective aim (even the subjective class aim)? What is the meaning of this sudden intrusion of teleology (study of ultimate ends) in the social sciences? It is clear that the way of posing the problem is methodologically incorrect, to the extent that we are talking of a serious formulation and not a metaphorical turn of phrase. Let us take an example an economic law recognized by comrade R Luxembourg herself -- for example the law of the falling rate of profit. ‘For whom', that is, in whose interest, does this fall occur? The question is obviously absurd, it cannot be posed, since the idea of intent is here excluded a priori. Each capitalist (our emphasis) tries to gain a differential profit (and sometimes succeeds); others catch up with him, and the result is a social fact: a fall in the rate of profit. In this way, comrade Luxembourg abandons the path of marxist methodology, in renouncing the conceptual rigor of Marx's analysis." (Bukharin, Imperialism and the Accumulation of Capital, ch. l)

Bukharin is right to say that it is absurd to pose the question ‘For whom does the rate of profit fall?' The falling rate of profit is a tendency that concerns the measurement of an economic ratio (the profit on capital engaged). It is a tendency which has no ‘addressee'. It is not erected by someone to be supplied to someone else. The question ‘for whom' has no meaning. But the question ‘why do capitalists decide to increase their produc­tion?' is quite another matter.

The capitalist produces to sell and realize a profit. He only increases his production if he knows that it will find an outlet, buyers able to realize in money form the labor he has extracted from his workers. The capitalist only increases his production if he knows who to sell to, which is the capitalist translation of the more general question: ‘production for whom?' And this question is so vital for him that if he is unable to reply, he is condemned to bank­ruptcy.

Replying to the French economist JB Say and his well-known law according to which production automatically creates its own market, Marx wrote in the Critique of Political Economy:

"The metaphysical equilibrium between buying and selling comes down to this: each purchase is a sale and each sale a purchase. This is no great consolation for those who destroy commo­dities because they are unable to sell and therefore to buy" (Section on ‘The Metamorphosis of Commodities')

An argument that obeys the rules of logic but arrives at false conclusions -- ie conclusions con­tradicted by the reality it is supposed to express - we call a sophism. This is the case with Bukharin's reasoning.

What Bukharin says is true: whatever type of society we consider, there is an ‘objective' link between production and consumption. For there to be production, there must be consumption, even if it is only of food for the producers. To consume, it is also necessary to produce the ob­ject of consumption. This is true, but it is neither very original, nor very useful here. From the Stone Age to capitalism, there has always been an ‘absolutely objective' link bet­ween production and consumption. But this link is not the same in all successive systems of production.

In capitalism, in particular, this ‘absolutely objective' link is totally transformed by the generalization of wage labor. Capitalism has introduced humanity to a phenomenon it could previously never even imagine: the crisis of overproduction. For the first time in history, there can be an increase in the goods ready to be consumed, without there being a corresponding increase in consumption. What's more, during crises of overproduction, consumption falls as a result of redundancies and reductions in wages, and those who remain in employment must work harder than ever under the threat of redundancy. In this sense, Bukharin's plati­tude of the ‘absolutely objective' link between production and consumption does not take the question forward one iota. On the contrary, by confounding capitalism with previous systems, it simply clouds the issue to the point of making it insoluble.

Nonetheless, Bukharin insists, and sets his seal on it. "The growth in consumption -- he says - "as a result of increasing production is the fundamental condition for growth in any social system."

This is a. a triviality and a stupidity which was the hobbyhorse of most nineteenth century bourgeois economists.

A triviality, because increasing consumption pre­supposes an increase in production. It is obvious enough that, for there to be more consumption, there must be more goods to consume. One can hardly consume what does not exist.

A stupidity, because an increase in consump­tion is a result of a growth in production. Under capitalism, it is possible to produce more without there being any increase in consumption. Only under capitalism is such a thing -- a crisis of overproduction -- poss­ible, but it is precisely capitalism that we are concerned with here, and not previous social systems.

Growth in consumption is a systematic result of a growth in production only in social systems where production is orientated to­wards the immediate consumption of the pro­ducers.

In the classless societies of ‘primitive communism', men shared out more or less equally the results of their production. When­ever the produce of the hunt, of stock farming, or of agriculture increased, consumption automatically increased corresp­ondingly.

Under feudalism, or in the slave-holding soc­ieties of antiquity, the ruling class approp­riated the surplus produced by the exploited class, and consumed it. When production dev­eloped, this was expressed, on the one hand, in an eventual increase in the consumption of the laboring class (partly dependent on their masters' goodwill), and on the other, in an increase in the consumption of the ruling class. In one form or another, an in­crease in production systematically resulted in an increase in consumption.

Under capitalism, this systematic link is broken. The link between producer and consumer has become contradictory. Capital only develops by reducing the share of consumption.

"The capitalist mode of production is peculiar in that human consumption, which was the aim in previous societies, is now no more than a means to the real end: capitalist accumulation. Capital's growth appears as the beginning and the end, the end in itself, and the meaning of all production. The absurdity of such   relationships only appears to the extent that capitalist production becomes worldwide. Here, on a world scale, the absurdity of the capitalist economy is expressed in the picture of the whole of humanity groaning under the terrible yoke of a blind social power that it has itself unconsciously created: capital. The fundamental aim of every social form of production -- the upkeep of society through labor, and the satisfaction of its needs -‑ appears here completely upset and stood on its head, since production for profit and not for mankind becomes the rule throughout the planet, while under-consumption, permanent insecurity of consumption, becomes the rule for the immense majority of humanity." (R. Luxemburg: Introduction to Political Economy, Chapter on ‘The Tendencies of the Capi­talist Economy').

Just like the bourgeois economists who think that capitalist laws of production have always existed because they are ‘natural', Bukharin fails to perceive what fundamentally distinguishes capitalism from every other type of society in history. This leads him at one and the same time into imagining a capitalism with communist characteristics, and viewing comm­unism, or at least a break with capitalism, as state capitalism -- which has much more serious political consequences.

Can the workers provide the extra demand necessary for the development of capital?

To counter Luxemburg's analysis, Bukharin claims that increasing consumption by the workers can constitute the outlet necessary to the realization of capitalist profit, and so to capitalist accumulation.

"The production of labor-power is unquest­ionably the precondition to the production of material values, of capital's surplus-value. The production of extra labor-power is unquestionably the precondition for increasing accumulation." " (...) In reality, the fact is that capitalists employ extra workers, who then represent, precisely, an extra demand."

"Unquestionably", Bukharin moves in a theoret­ical world foreign to the reality of capital­ism and its crises. Applying Bukharin's anal­ysis to reality comes down to this; what should capitalists do to avoid laying-off workers when their businesses no longer find any outlets? Simple! -- take on "extra work­ers!" It only needed someone to think of it. The trouble is that a capitalist who followed this advice would go rapidly bankrupt.

So Bukharin takes refuge in a theoretical picture of a planned and centralized capital­ist economy, which is to get rid of crises by following his directives:

"Let us picture to ourselves (...) a collective capitalist regime (state capitalism), where the capitalist class is united in one trust, and whereas a result we have an econ­omy that is organized, but still antagonistic from the class viewpoint (...) is accumulation possible in this case? Indeed it is. There is no crisis, since the reciprocal demand of each  branch of production on every other branch as well as the demand for consumption for the capitalists as well as for the workers, is given in advance (there is no ‘anarchy of pro­duction', there is a plan that is rational from the capitalist viewpoint). In the case of a ‘miscalculation' of the means of pro­duction, the excess is stocked and the corr­esponding readjustment is carried out during the next production cycle. On the other hand, in the case of a ‘miscalculation' of the workers' means of consumption, this leftover is either distributed free, or a correspond­ing part of the product is destroyed (our em­phasis). If there is a miscalculation in the production of luxury products, the ‘way out' is equally clear. As a result there cannot here be any crisis of overproduction." (Bukharin, Idem, end of Ch 3)

Bukharin claims to solve the problem theoret­ically by eliminating it. The problem in capitalist crises of overproduction is the diff­iculty in selling what is produced. Bukharin tells us: all that needs to be done is "give it away free"! If capitalism were able to distribute its produce for nothing, it would indeed never undergo any major crises -- since its main contradiction would thus be solved. But such a capitalism can only exist in the mind of a Bukharin who has run out of arguments. The "free" distribution of produc­tion, that is to say the organization of soc­iety in such a way that men produce directly for themselves, is indeed the only way out for humanity. But this ‘solution' is not an organized form of capitalism, but communism.

In the real world, a capitalist nation that played at handing out its produce for nothing to the producers would soon lose all economic competivity in relation to other nations -- by raising the ‘cost' of its labor-power. In the jungle of the world market, the capitals that survive are those that sell at the lowest price -- and therefore those make the exploit­ed class produce at the lowest possible cost. The workers' consumption is a cost, a burden for capital, not an objective. Marx has already replied to this kind of theoretical nonsense:

"In those regimes where men produce for them­selves, there, are no crises, bur there is no capitalist production either. (...) Under cap­italism, a man who has produced has no choice between selling or not selling. He must sell." "It must never be forgotten that capitalist production is not a matter of use-value, but of exchange-value, and especially of the increase in surplus-value. That is the motor of capitalist production, and it is trying to hide the facts to disregard its very basis with the sole aim of removing the contradict­ion from capitalist production and turning it into production orientated towards immediate consumption by the producers." (Marx, Theories of Surplus Value)


One of the arguments most often used against Luxemburg's analysis is formulated by Bukharin as follows:

"Rosa Luxemburg makes the analysis too easy. She gives special attention to one contradiction -- the contradiction between the con­ditions of the production of surplus-value and of its realization, between production and consumption under capitalist conditions." (....) R. Luxemburg supposedly neglects such contradictions as that "between different branches of production, the contradiction be­tween industry and agriculture limited by land-rent, the anarchy of the market and competition, war as part of this competition, etc..." (Bukharin, Idem, Ch 5)

We will deal with this question in the next part of this article.

(To be continued)


[1] "A number of comrades in the German CP were, and some still remain, of the opinion that a revolutionary program must be based on comrade R. Luxemburg's theory of accumulation. The author of the present work, who is of another opinion, necessarily had to take on the work of analyzing the Accumulation of Capital from a critical point of view. This was all the more necessary in that, following the slogan of the Bolshevization of the Communist International's member parties, we had begun to discuss such questions as the national, agrarian, and colonial questions, on which comrade R. Luxemburg had adopted an attitude different from that of orthodox Bolshevism. We therefore had to see if there was not a relationship between the errors of her Accumulation of Capital." (Bukharin, 1925 - Preface to Imperialism and Accumulation of Capital).