2021 年 76 巻 1 号 p. 79-99
Japanese capitalism has formed a vicious circle among multiple socio-economic crises under neoliberalism. This paper reexamines the historical origin of these crises, their structural relations, and identify their core, fundamental issues. It will be shown also how three different types of natural disasters also deepen socio-economic crises, thereby endangering the metabolic reproduction of human lives and nature. How can we overcome such an age of deep crises? More than ever, it is indispensable to reconsider the historical significance and task of transforming neoliberal capitalism in the world and in Japan.
(1) Six multiple crises in a structural, vicious circle
The inflationary crisis of 1973-75 initiated a long downturn of Japanese capitalism. In addition to the excessive supply of currencies and credit in the process of transition from the Bretton Woods international monetary system to the floating exchange rates system, over-accumulation of industrial capital in relation to the limitation of flexible supply of both labor power within major capitalist economies and primary products such as crude oil in the world market inevitably caused sharp rises in wages and prices of primary products and squeezed profit rates as a fundamental factor behind the crisis. In this regard the inflationary crisis revealed anew the basic contradiction of capitalist economy in the commodification of labor power, together with the instability of credit mechanisms. (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)