Kalecki’s dilemma: towards a Marxian interpretation of neoliberal financialization

Sotiropoulos, Dimitris P. (2011). Kalecki’s dilemma: towards a Marxian interpretation of neoliberal financialization. Rethinking Marxism, 23(1) pp. 100–116.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08935696.2011.536347


The financial crisis provides us with an opportunity to rethink the neoliberal form of capitalism. From a Keynesian standpoint, neoliberalism manifests the power of the unproductive class of rentiers to effect an income redistribution so as to gain profits at the level of circulation. The emphasis in our analysis will shift from the sphere of circulation to that of production, a reminder of Marx’s basic thesis that capitalist production is a process of generating surplus value. The work of Michal Kalecki, which is useful for its exposure of the limitations of the Keynesian problematic, formulates a dilemma that partially hints at this theoretical orientation. The essential point is that, failing to understand capital, Keynesians are incapable of understanding the essence of neoliberalism, which is particularly well suited for enforcing capital’s aggressive exploitation strategies toward labor.

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