Episode 53: Henryk Grossmann’s Breakdown Model
Brendan interviews Andrew about his recent article in With Sober Senses,“Henryk Grossmann’s Breakdown Model: On the Real Cause of the Fictitious Breakdown Tendency.” Grossmann, a Marxist theorist, wrote a 1929 book containing this model of capitalism’s supposed breakdown and a theory of economic crisis based on the model. Andrew argues that the model and the theory continue to be influential among fatalists. The co-hosts discuss the political dangers of a fatalist outlook.
Much of the interview focuses on flaws in the breakdown model that Andrew says are fatal and irreparable. First, Grossmann characterizes capitalism’s alleged tendency to break down as a problem of “not enough surplus-value,” but the real cause of breakdown––in the model––is that supply of physical output falls short of productive demand in physical terms. This is the very
Current-events segment: “Zuck you!” Brendan and Andrew discuss Frances Haugen’s bombshell
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