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23. The Periodical Crises

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the periodical crisis as a particular stage of the industrial cycle, before moving on to the long-term tendency of the rate of profit. Periodical crises appear as the temporary moments of the industrial or classical cycle during which the rate of profit is low, the agents' expectations are pessimistic, commodities are sold with difficulty, and so on and so forth. The chapter deals with the conflict between the 'productive forces' and the capitalist 'relations of production', which is not only periodical and surmountable, but also grows more acute and threatening: 'Capitalist production constantly strives to overcome these immanent barriers, but it overcomes them only by means that set up the barriers afresh and on a more powerful scale'. The endogenous 'mechanisms' of the system, the immanent laws of capitalist production, is lead to ever deeper and more acute crises.

Keywords: capitalist production; industrial cycle; long-term tendency; periodical crises; productive forces; rate of profit

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