Marxian Political Economy — Michał Kalecki

7 PM Central Standard Time starting Wednesday 7/20

Michał Kalecki is arguably the most important Marxist economist of the 20th century, because of his contributions and development of the Marxian theory for late-capitalist conditions, though he remains little known or appreciated today. He is considered a founder of post-Keynesian macroeconomics and independently discovered Keynes’s theory of aggregate effective demand in the 1930s, before Keynes published his General Theory. Yet Kalecki did so on the basis of Marx’s Capital. In this reading group members will try to get a handle on Kalecki’s theory of capitalist economies and their political implications for the working class by reading selections of his most important essays.

All readings will be made available. All are welcome to attend. The only requirement is that every participant prepare and engage in earnest and open-minded discussion and debate. Participants who would simply like to attend and listen but cannot always finish all of the reading etc. are nevertheless more than welcome.

If you are interested in participating, please register online HERE and you will be notified when this course will begin. All readings listed will be discussed. (It is recommended to have a Google account to register. Please be sure to be logged in to your Google account before clicking on the link above, and choose “Request to join group”.)

Main Text: Selected Essays on the Dynamics of The Capitalist Economy 1933-1970

Supplementary Texts : Collected Works of Michał Kalecki (vols. I & II)


1. July 20. Introduction:

  • Read or Listen: “Michał Kalecki Is the Economist We Need to Make Sense of Class Conflict: An Interview with Jan Toporowski”
  • Read: “Michał Kalecki and the Politics of Full Employment”, by Jan Toporowski
  • Read: “Old Populism and the New Ideas of Michał Kalecki”, by Jan Toporowski

2. July 27. Selected Essays — Part I [The Business Cycle]

  • 1-4, pp. 1-42.
  • “The Influence of Cartelization on the Business Cycle” (1932) [CWMK I, 56-60]
  • “The Business Cycle and Inflation” (1932) [CWMK I, 147-56]
  • “A Theory of the Business Cycle” (1937) [CWMK I, 529-54]

3. August 3. Selected Essays — Part II [Capital Investment, Effective Demand, Profit, National Income]

  • 5-11, pp. 43-137.
  • “Money and Real Wages” (1939) [CWMK II, 21-51]
  • “The Marxian Equations of Reproduction and Modern Economics” (1968) [CWMK II, 459-467]

4. August 10. Selected Essays — Part III [“Political Aspects of Full Employment” and Class Struggle]

5. August 17. Crises

  • “The World Financial Crisis” (1931) [CWMK I, 37-41]
  • “The Reduction of Wages During a Crisis” (1932) [CWMK I, 41-5]
  • “Is a ‘Capitalist’ Overcoming of the Crisis Possible?” (1932) [CWMK I, 48-54]
  • “New Industries and the Overcoming of a Crisis” (1932) [CWMK I, 54-6]
  • “Stimulating the World Business Upswing” (1933) [CWMK I, 156-65]

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