Maksakovsky – The Capitalist Cycle

I still intend to write a proper review and explanation of why it is really important to study this short book, together with more recommendations for preliminary reading.

Meanwhile there is a sale ending August 23 for hardcopy paperback at $10 half price so here are the details to order RIGHT NOW.

Amazon and Book Depository are quoting over 4 times that so get 4 copies NOW.

Seriously, also get some extra copies for future distribution to others. This book is REALLY important.

Foĺlowing is from front page of my still unopened blog.

“The Capitalist Cycle: An Essay on the Marxist Theory of the Cycle by Pavel V. Maksakovsky is also available in paperback for AUD $27.06 with free delivery. Available till 2018-08-23 for USD $10 plus shipping in half-price sale of all Haymarket books.

This site is mainly for my notes on why it is important to study this book and how to do so as well as developing the theory generally. Collaborators are welcome.

Many references to related books and papers linked from here, including the above, are for free “one-click, no registration required” downloads from Library Genesis. Naturally that is blocked by internet censorship in some countries. For details on how to gain access when blocked, click that link.

Recommendations for reading:

Postpone the long translator’s introduction until after finishing at least chapter 2 of Maksakovsky’s own work.

Short Foreword and author’s introdction are only 11 pages so much better than long translator’s introduction for a quick look immediately to decide when to read the rest.

Chapter 1 is 34pp and confirms this is not “the usual” one gets from “Marxians” nor Soviet dogmatism. Worth reading next.

The core of Maksakovsky’s theory is Chapter 2 only another 57pp. That covers the “real” side. If those 102 pages don’t interest you the rest probably won’t either. But he only deals with “The Role of Credit” in Chapter 3 on the basis of first having dealt with the underlying “real” cycle that is “amplified” by credit.

Further help with suggestions for preliminary reading will be provided when this site is ready for public use but it won’t be ready for a while. Meanwhile the blog posts available from “Blog” link are just notes to myself with no navigation structure but I can be contacted by leaving comments.

11 thoughts on “Maksakovsky – The Capitalist Cycle

    • Great! I really am working on material to help. Discussion with David, Barry and any others would help a lot in getting that done.
      Even specific questions/comments in this thread would help me focus.


    • I find Maksakovsky essential because he presents a systematic theory of the business cycle that has remained a regular feature since 1825, fully integrated with theories of value distribution and growth.
      After 1929 others got stuck trying to prove final and permanent crash rather than periodic cycle. Then after WWII the cycle remained but without full scale crises and Marxist economic theory disappeared.
      Only since 2008 real interest in crises but still not understood in relation to business cycle.
      Booms are caused by lag in massive replacement of fixed capital made obsolete by low prices and profit rates following a crash. Demand remains unmet due to time required for constructing new plant so profits keep rising and more construction starts. Then the new plant comes on stream with far more of it than the actual demand so bust. Rinse and repeat.
      Needs further development to explain how fiscal and monetary policies he said could only postpone crises while also intensifying did seem to work for so long.
      My view is that they did postpone and will result in bigger crisis than ever.


  1. Key point most miss is that there is always a range of alternative techniques including both more labor intensive and capital intensive.
    No new inventions are needed for more capital intensive techniques to suddenly make existing more labor intensive techniques obsolete at the low price and profit rates following a crash.
    Inflationary policies successfully postponed the crash by prolonging the use and production of plant that would and should have been made obsolete by a crash thus intensifying the distortions.


    • yes the fact that a world war ended the depression and we dont know how it would have turned out if there hadnt been a war and the long period before the next crisis has also to be explained.
      I am not quite sure whether this means just a bigger crash and then a long depression or a significant crash followed by what had been happening for the 20 years before the GFC not much real growth just limping along. Wages have not risen since the GFC and arent really keeping up with inflation, There are plenty of questions regarding the effect of the stalling of the crisis and the previous attempts at smoothing out the cycles


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