Kondratiev cycles strike me as a sophisticated form of technological determinism. If the basis of capitalism is the value form of labour, and the dynamics of capitalism are predicated on the extraction and realisation of surplus value (which are in turn predicted on the ability of capitalism to secure a working class conducive to such extraction and realisation – which is necessarily and fundamentally a political and ideological process) I don’t see the basis for necessary waves of innovation as the primary basis for understanding the dynamics of capital.
There is a difference between observing statistical trends and then asserting these trends are the primary drivers of how a global economy functions.
Lots of important points you make. It’s difficult to consider them all. In my book, I suggest that the key cycle is profitability and the longer Kondratiev cycle revolves round the profit cycle. The Kondratiev cycle links innovation waves with a basis for new capitalist expansion after a period of depression and the failure of the working class to replace capitalism. So I think that there is a link between the technological, economic and political. But I have to admit that this is the most tendentious part of my book and is open to refutation and criticism more than any other part.