The current long depression and its nature

Economic slumps are usually preceded by a decline in profits, writes Michael Roberts. This article is based on a presentation made to the CPGB’s Communist University in August 2014

Since the end of the Great Recession - which technically ended in mid-2009, when the major capitalist economies stopped contracting - the world economy has morphed into a long depression1. There has been no ‘normal’ economic recovery that usually follows a slump in capitalist production.2 The economic recovery since mid-2009 has been weak, with below-trend real gross domestic product growth, still above-average unemployment and hardly any resumption of business investment. Inflation of prices in the shops and on household bills has been very low and in some economies there has been outright deflation.

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Letters

Late review; Defringed; Withdraw; Class victory

No clean hands

Some are gunning for principal speaker Bianca Todd. Paul Demarty wonders what exactly they hope to achieve

Farage parks his tanks

Ukip has every reason to feel chipper, says Eddie Ford. It has enjoyed high-profile Tory defections and is riding high in the polls

Going soft on the intervention

Fear and hatred of Islamic State has caused some members of the Fourth International to lose their bearings, writes Peter Manson

Tied to the national state

Support for Germany’s 1914-18 war effort did not just come from the right. As shown by Konrad Haenisch’s letter, there was a pro-war left that banked on a German victory in order to bring about socialist revolution

An unintentional exposé

Tariq Ali (editor) The Stalinist legacy: its impact on 20th century world politics Haymarket, 2013, pp551, £15.99

In service of Miliband

Last week’s Labour conference confirmed once again that the union tops work hand in glove with the party bureaucracy. Charles Gradnitzer reports

Smashed through!

Our reader's generosity has got Robbie Rix purring this week...

Weekly Worker 1028 is also available in PDF format