PE Seminar Series | "At the length truth will out" (hopefully): The reception of Henryk Grossman's crisis theory

1 May, 2018
04:00 - 5:30pm


Henryk Grossman recovered Marx's theory of economic crisis, based on the tendency for the rate of profit to fall, in his best known work, The Law of Accumulation and Breakdown of the Capitalist System, published in 1929. In that book and elsewhere, he emphasised the importance of active revolutionary politics. Yet most initial reviews accused him of having a mechanical theory of capitalist collapse. That criticism has been regularly capitulated ever since. This paper considers the adequacy of Grossman's arguments and those of his critics, as well as the circumstances which have favoured their persistence.


About the speaker

Rick completed an economics degree, with majors in politics and economics, at the University of Sydney in the mid 1970s. He was radicalised in the tail end of the mass student movement. Then, while a Commonwealth public servant, he became active in socialist, union and social movement politics, before doing an honours year in politics at Macquarie University. He returned to the public service in Canberra in 1979, initially as a member of the elite Administrative Trainee Scheme. After completing a PhD on the economic ideas of the Australian labour movement, back at the University of Sydney, Rick resumed work as a public service economist in Canberra. His first appointment at the ANU was in 1987. He retired as a reader in Political Science in 2013 and is currently an honorary associate professor in Sociology.


Location: Merewether Seminar Room 498, Butlin Avenue