Global Capitalism in Crisis

Karl Marx & The Decay of the Profit System

By Murray E.G. Smith  

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The world economy is currently experiencing a devastating slump not seen since the Second World War. Unemployment rates are skyrocketing and salaries are plummeting in the developed world, while astronomical food prices and starvation ravage the developing world. The crisis in global capitalism, Smith argues, should be understood as both a composite crisis of overproduction, credit and finance, and a deep-seated systemic crisis. Using Marx to analyze the origins, implications and scope of the current economic slump, this book argues that the crisis needs to be understood structurally, as the result of a system prone to crisis, rather than as an aberration.


  • The Global Economic Crisis: A Marxist Perspective
  • A Summary of Marx’s Theories of Value, Capital and Crisis
  • The Necessity of Value Theory: Brenner’s Analysis of the “Long Downturn” and Marx’s Theory of Crisis
  • Class Struggle and Socialist Transformation: Beyond the Law of Value
  • The Global Crisis, Marxism and the Malaise of the Anti-Capitalist Left
  • Appendix 1: The Controversy Surrounding Marx’s Theory of Value
  • Appendix 2: Socially Necessary Unproductive Labour in Contemporary Capitalism
  • Bibliography
  • Index


  • Murray E.G. Smith

    Brock University

    Murray E.G. Smith is Professor of Sociology at Brock University. He has been active on the socialist left in Canada since the 1970s, participating in a variety of campaigns and progressive movements for social change.

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