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Geoffrey Ingham


Polity, 2008-2011, 331 pgs., index, references, notes, paperback


Reviewer comment




Part I Classical theories about capitalism


Chapter 1 Smith, Marx, and Weber

Adam Smith (1723-1790); the market as a harmonizing 'invisible hand'

The factors of production

The division of labour and market exchange

Commerce, politics and the state

Value and distribution

Smith's legacy

Karl Marx (1818-1883): exploitation and the fatal contradictions of the capitalist mode of production

Use value and exchange-value

Labour and labour power

The forces and relations of production and their contradictions

Is Marx's Capital relevant today?

Max Weber (1864-1920) and the historical specificity of capitalism: rationality, calculation and doination The ideal type of modern capitalism
The development of capitalism in the West



Chapter 2 Schumpeter and Keynes

Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950): money markets and the'headquarters of capitalism'

Profits and the role of the capitalist entrepreneur

Capitalism and credit-money

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946): making capitalism work better

Finance and the capital market

The labour market and effective demand

The management of aggregate demand



Chapter 3 The basic elements of capitalism

A. Monetary system and bank-credit money

B. Market exchange

C. Private enterprise production of commodities

The state

Culture and capitalism


Part II - The institutions


Chapter 4 Money

What is money?

Capitalism credit-money

The money market and the production of credit-money

Monetary disorder in capitalism





Chapter 5 Market exchange

The competitive market

Monopolistic competition and mass consumption

Conflict and contradictions


Contradictions and crises



Chapter 6 The enterprise

Theories of the capitalist enterprise

The struggle for the enterprise's surplus

The struggle for control of the 'labour process'

Corporate governance and the struggle between ownership and management

'The revenge of the rentier'

The ownership of capital and the political struggle



Chapter 7 Capital and financial markets

Stock markets and the investment bank oligopoly

The enterprise as a commodity: mergers and acquisitions

Financial risk management and speculation

The Enron affair



Chapter 8 The state

The two logics of power

Social peace: coercion and legitimacy

Capitalist social relations and liberal democracy

The state in the economy

The state, human capital and welfare

Management of the economy: counter-cyclical stabilization, financial crises



Chapter 9 Conclusions


'Varieties' of capitalism


Postcript: the financial crisis and its aftermath

Finance-capital: increasing dominance and fragility

Crisis point: from the 'subprime' defaults to the fall of Lehman Brothers

States to the rescue


What is to be done?

Concluding remarks


Return to Xenophon.