Are Marx's crises of capitalism essentially crises for the working class?

It is well known that Marx predicted increased immiseration of the working class relative to the bourgeoisie, and that crises, recessions etc., would gradually become worse.

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Karl Marx's Economics: Critical Assessments p179

But does Marx's 'crises of over-production', their worsening, necessarily add up to the working class experiencing greater and greater economic and political horrors? Or could the worsening of either of these forms of crises be limited to the ruling class alone?

Especially if capital moves towards an abstract ideal of everyone being either workers or capitalists (how Luxemburg analyzed the insolubility of 'over-production', in terms of 'immperialism')?

Marx's model of accumulation - when properly understood - is precisely in its insolubility the exact prognosis of the economically unavoidable downfall of capitalism as a result of the imperialist process of expansion whose specific task it is to realize Marx's assumption: the general and undivided rule of capital. Can this ever really happen? That is, of course, theoretical fiction, precisely because capital accumulation is not just an economic but also a political process.

Anticritique chapter 6.

I mean ideally any worsening crises would only be bad for the bourgeoisie. This might create e.g. an ever deepening cycle between relative immiseration and reformism, meaning the real issue is just one of either temporary economic reform or revolution.


  • 1
    "Crises of overproduction" are bad for most, bourgeoisie and proletariat alike, since they destroy businesses and lay off workers, leading to the "poverty in the midst of plenty". And both effects are exacerbated during severe ones. This is even aside from social instability that Marx believed would lead to the overthrow of bourgeoisie's political power.
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 17:03
  • does marx explicitly say they get worse for both classes?
    – user38026
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 17:13
  • 1
    Marx's views and quotes are readily available. This non-question should have been googled in the first place.
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 17:16
  • 2
    Reality is that the rich cannot suffer. Revolution doesn't happen when the rich cannot afford a second home, it happens when the poor skip 3 meals.
    – Richard
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 22:57
  • @Richard oh yeah that would be a downside to class
    – user38026
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 23:46


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