According to Stuart Jeffries in the Guardian (5 July), “Marxism is on the rise again”. One of the reasons he gives for this is “its analysis of economic crises”. But what is this analysis?
The problem with trying to describe Marx’s own theory is that he never published a final, worked-out version. In Volume 1 of Capital there are some passing references to capitalist production going in cycles “of average activity, production at high pressure, crisis and stagnation”. Apart from that, all we have are drafts and notes on the subject which Engels, Kautsky and Moscow later published as Volumes 2 and 3 of Capital, Theories of Surplus Value and the Grundrisse, but these drafts are not always entirely consistent with each other.