The Crisis Behind the Crisis

Michael Stephens | December 8, 2011

In his latest installment, C. J. Polychroniou surveys the slow motion collapse of the eurozone and the ongoing fragility of the US economy, and insists that underneath it all lies a deeper crisis.  What we are witnessing, he suggests, is not just the fallout from the latest banking panic or financial crisis, but a set of symptoms linked to a broader economic malaise:  a crisis of advanced global capitalism.

Advanced capitalism had been facing severe structural stresses, strains, and deformations for many years prior to the eruption of the financial crisis in 2007, including overproduction, growing trade deficits, lack of job growth, and elevated debt levels.

Private debt accumulation in the West, which has spiraled out of control, is largely the outcome of wage stagnation. In the United States, wages have remained stagnant since the mid to late 1970s, leading to a new Gilded Age, with renewed claims about the superiority of Darwinian capitalism. At the same time, the poor and working-class populations have come to be seen as a sort of nuisance in the galaxy the rich occupy, with attacks being launched by the rich on their wages and working conditions and the media often carrying out derogatory campaigns against working-class identity.

Read the one-pager here.


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