For episode #23, we interviewed David McNally—a Canadian socialist, scholar-activist, author and teacher. We had been trying to get David on the program for some time and finally managed to get all of our schedules aligned to make this happen, which we are very excited about!
Because there was so much to talk about, we broke the episode into two parts. Part one, posted here, is where we ask David to talk about the crisis, global slump and recent political economy of capitalism that got us to this point. David explains different types of crises in capitalism and that he believes this will be a much longer recovery, more similar to the slump at the end of the 19th century. We talk about the rationale of austerity, and how the effects of the bailout, nearly $23 trillion by his estimates, have ironically prolonged the crisis by preventing “excess capital” from being destroyed—banks are not going under, factories are not closing, less efficient production is not being put out of business by more efficient production.
Lastly, we talk about the need to have a popular understanding of the slump that clearly demonstrates that there is a ruling class consensus towards driving down living standards and maintaining profits, rather than in creating jobs or helping “the economy”.
For listeners interested in more on this subject, be sure to check out McNally’s book Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance, and Sasha Lilley’s edited collected Capital and its Discontents: Conversations with Radical Thinkers in a Time of Tumult, which includes an excellent introduction by the editor as well as interviews with economists like McNally.
Part two of this interview will discuss McNally’s book Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism.