This course provides an introduction to social crisis with a focus on the present.

We imagine five sessions. 1) Introduction, reading Anwar Shaik’s discussion of various theories of crisis 2) Detailed discussion of “underconsumptionist” theories, including Luxemburg and Harvey 3) Detailed discussion of “profit squeeze” theories, Brenner, and Italian autonomists 4) Ecological crisis and capitalism 5) Detailed discussion of crisis of accumulation While the course’s approach is mostly through a critique of political economy, we will also address the relationship of capitalist and ecological crisis. We’ll start with an introduction to leading crisis theories, their strengths and limits, and the central question of whether the causes of crisis are internal or external to capital. We will also try to situate crisis theory in relation to other significant contemporary concerns: immaterial and affective labor, communization, ecology, financialization, and more. This course will be facilitated by Joshua Clover, Neil Larsen, and others to be announced.

Crisis chart

  1. Keith Paterson

    Brilliant and much needed. A critical political economy for activists is sorely needed to explain the crisis of course but also to get our heads round the complex and mystifying nature of capitalism. I have stumbled around creating such a course and delivered to community activists and trade unionists in Aberdeen, Scotland using some of Jim Stanfords work on Economics for Everyone but departing from him as I think you need a theory of value and it doesn’t have to be as complicated as academics seek to make it.
    Keith Paterson

  2. No Falling rate of profit section?

  3. fran griffiths

    Any chance of rolling out this course in other places…wales for example.

  4. Fantastic – good work.

  5. So when/where will this be happening in Berlin? Will it be open to the public? Would really love to attend…

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