“A passage that Engels wrote some 103 years ago in the preface to the English edition of ‘Capital’ reads as a preview of economic scene today. This lamp which he lit a century ago casts light on an aspect of our contemporary economic reality. He wrote: “The time is rapidly approaching when a thorough examination of England [“the USA’s”- J.J.] economic position will impose itself as an irresistible national necessity. The working of the industrial system of this country, impossible without a constant and rapid extension of production, and therefore of markets, is coming to a dead stop…. while the productive power increases in a geometric ratio, the extension of markets proceeds at best in an arithmetic ratio. The decennial cycle of stagnation, prosperity, over-production and crisis, ever recurrent…. seems indeed to have run its course; but only to land us is the slough of despond of a permanent and chronic depression. The sighed-for period of prosperity will not come; as often as we seem to perceive its heralding symptoms, so often do they again vanish into air. Meanwhile, each succeeding winter brings up afresh the great question, “what to do with the unemployed”; but while ‘the number of the unemployed keeps swelling from year to year’, there is ‘nobody to answer that question’; and we can also calculate the moment when the unemployed, losing patience, will take their own fate into their own hands. Surely, at such a moment the voice of Marx ought to be heard.” [F. Engels] [in James E. Jackson, Karl Marx and the United States, 1983]

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