Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
As a field of human knowledge, economics entails (1) the study of the objective laws governing the economic structure of society within the framework of the socioeconomic formations that regularly follow and replace one another, (2) the theoretical analysis of the processes and phenomena in the various spheres and branches of the national economy, and (3) the elaboration of practical recommendations with respect to the production and distribution of the necessities of life. The economic sciences are the product of long-term historical development. The establishment of a system of economic knowledge was directly tied to the advent of political economy as a science.
Works by classical bourgeois political economists laid the scientific foundation for the development of the economic sciences; such works investigated many important socioeconomic processes in capitalist economies. The consolidation of the capitalist mode of production, the increasingly antagonistic opposition between hired labor and capital, and the transformation of the bourgeoisie from a progressive into a reactionary class contributed to the emergence of vulgar bourgeois political economy, which supplanted the analysis of the internal laws of the capitalist economic system with the description and systematization of externally perceived economic processes and phenomena.
The possibility of creating a genuinely scientific system of economic knowledge arose with the advent of Marxist economic doctrine, which incorporated the highest achievements of previous economic thought and creatively reworked them in accordance with materialist historical principles. Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin made enormous contributions to Karl Marx’s economic theory. Marxist-Leninist economic theory was subsequently developed and concretized in the theoretical activity of the CPSU and of the fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties as well as in scholarly works by Soviet and foreign Marxist economists.
The Marxist system of classification differentiates between basic and applied economic sciences. The task of the basic sciences is to study objective economic laws and theoretically justify their effective application. The basic sciences include political economy, history of the national economy, history of economic thought, national economic planning, theory of economic management, statistics, accounting, and the analysis of economic activity. The applied sciences utilize the results of basic studies to solve specific practical problems. The various types of applied economic sciences are differentiated by function (finances and credit, money circulation, pricing, demography, labor economics, and material and technical supply), region or geographic area (economics of individual countries), and branch (for example, industrial, agricultural, construction, transport, or communications economics).
Political economy plays the principal role in the system of economic sciences, serving as the theoretical and methodological foundation of the entire complex formed by these sciences. Increased emphasis on the role of mathematics in economic research distinguishes the present stage of development of the economic sciences. In particular, the modeling of economic processes is being intensively developed. Socialist countries make practical use of the theses, conclusions, and recommendations of the economic sciences in the drafting and implementation of economic policy.
Marxist economics is focused on the functions of capitalism. According to University of Toronto Professor John H. Munro: "In Marxist theory, the inevitable fall in the rate of profit would lead to a fundamental crisis in capitalism and then to revolution; but in the fully developed Marxist-Leninist theory, late 19th-century European capitalism sought to avoid this problem of falling profits and to avoid its inevitable fate and destruction, by seeking new and overseas sources of economic exploitation: in essence by exporting capital abroad. According to this Marxist-Leninist viewpoint, fully mature industrial capitalism was necessarily forced to export more and more capital; and the export of capital to underdeveloped regions was itself, ipso facto, a form of Imperialism, with or without outright political and military control of such regions receiving these capital exports."
- Das Kapital, Karl Marx
- Super Imperialism, Michael Hudson
- Killing the Host, Michael Hudson
- J is for Junk economics, Michael Hudson
Figures and blogs
Michael Hudson is a so-called "classical economist" (classical economics includes Marx according to him) who analyzes the role of finance and debt in modern capitalism, and traces it to a historical process of recurring financializations.
Michael Roberts is also a Marxist economist who includes an analysis of finance in his models and takes. He's written very good books detailing Marxist economics in a simplifying, relevant manner and manages to tie it to modern political economy. Must-reads of his include "The Long Depression" and "Marx 200". He has a blog as well as a YouTube channel.
Although not a Marxist as-such, but rather a "Post-Keynesian" economist, Steve Keen also has an analysis of debt and credit. He regularly attacks the so-called neoclassical school of economics. He is a heterodox economist with a wide range of influences, including Marx to an extent (although he rejects the LTV). His books are also very good, "Debunking Economics" is a good beginner read that shows the absurdities in the neoclassical abstractions of the economy. He believes debt and finance are an underaccounted aspect of modern economic modeling. He has a blog and a YouTube channel.
A Critique of Crisis Theory – From a Marxist perspective (blog)
- ↑ https://www.lexico.com/definition/economics
- ↑ https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/economics
- ↑ Economics, The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979).
- ↑ https://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/MARXECON.htm