Financialization and Marx: some reflections on Bryan’s, Martin’s and Rafferty’s argumentation

Sotiropoulos, Dimitris P. and Lapatsioras, Spyros (2014). Financialization and Marx: some reflections on Bryan’s, Martin’s and Rafferty’s argumentation. Review of Radical Political Economics, 46(1) pp. 87–101.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0486613413488072

Abstract

The recent theoretical works of the authors mentioned in the title of the paper provide thorough insights into the workings of contemporary capitalism. Derivatives are the key issue involved here. They comprehend financialization as a development within, rather than a distortion of, capitalist production. They nevertheless underestimate the ability of Marx’s analytical categories to capture the essence of contemporary organization of capitalism. A return to Marx is not only helpful but is also indispensable for clarification of some unformed aspects in their analysis. What is actually involved in financialization is not just the emergence of a structure enabling more effective valuation of financial assets; it is also the development of a technology of power that is superimposed on existing power relations for the purpose of organizing their functioning.

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