In Marxian economics, crisis refers to what is called, even currently and outside Marxian theory in many European countries a "conjucture" or especially sharp bust cycle of the regular boob and bust pattern of capitalist development, which will if no countervailing action is taken ,mark the transition to a recession. See for example 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, Argentine economic crisis (1999-2002), South American economic crisis of 2002, Economic crisis of Cameroon.
A financial crisis may be a banking crisis or currency crisis. It is used as part of Marxist political economy, usually in the specific formulation of the crisis of capitalism. It refers to a period in which the normal reproduction of an economic process over time suffers from a temporary breakdown. This crisis period encourages intensified class conflict or societal change — or the revival of a more normal accumulation process.
In Marxist terms, all such crises are crises of overproduction and immiseration of the workers who were it not for the distribution of wealth based on the capitalist order would be able to absorb any demand. Indeed it is predicative of a democratic socialist planned economy that production and consumption are, at least with current technical capability, in sync. Marx in his many works (published and unpublished) suggested several different theories, none of them free from controversy to explain how this worked out in particular circumstances. In his mature work his theory of crisis is framed as a Law of Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall combined with a discussion of various counter tendencies, which may slow or modify it’s impact. A key characteristic of these theories is that none of them are natural or accidental in origin but instead arise from the nature of capitalism as a society. In Marx's words, "The real barrier of capitalist production is capital itself.
These theories include:
- The tendency of the rate of profit to fall. The accumulation of capital involves a general tendency for the degree of capital intensity, i.e., the "organic composition of capital" of production to rise. All else constant, this leads to a fall in the rate of profit, which leads to a slow-down of capitalism and perhaps a crisis.
- Underconsumption. If the capitalists win the class struggle to push wages down and labor effort up, raising the rate of surplus value, then a capitalist economy faces regular problems of inadequate consumer demand and thus inadequate aggregate demand.
- Full employment profit squeeze. Capital accumulation can pull up the demand for labor power, raising wages. If wages rise "too high," it hurts the rate of profit, causing a recession.
In theory at least, these different views may not contradict each other and may instead be complementary parts of a synthetic crisis theory.
- "". marxists.org
- "Crisis of Capitalism" by MIA Encyclopedia of Marxism