My patience has been exhausted.  The comments page on this blog has been used by some to post very long comments plus diatribes and attacks on other commentators, some times reaching beyond what is acceptable in tone and fairness.  I have put up with this for years as long as people were not racist or violent.  But now I have had enough.  People who submit long comments (that sometimes match the length of my own posts) are abusing the purpose of this blog and so should get their own blog and post there.  People who attack others in a personal and threatening manner will be blocked.  Expect some of you ‘regulars’ to disappear from the comments page.  You can attack me or others on your own blog.

51 thoughts on “Comments

  1. Thank you for not closing the comments page for reasonable people. And many thanks for you work. Greetings from Paris (on containment), Hadrien C.

  2. Solidarity Michael – really look forward to your posts ✊✊✊

    On Fri, 1 May 2020 at 11:56, Michael Roberts Blog wrote:

    > michael roberts posted: “Guys My patience has been exhausted. The > comments page on this blog has been used by some to post very long comments > plus diatribes and attacks on other commentators, some times reaching > beyond what is acceptable in tone and fairness. I have put up w” >

  3. Michael put word limits regarding comments!!!
    I enjoy your texts, although I am not Marxist anymore, because your way of thinking reminds me Ernst Mandel and also every time you said new things.
    I hope you will not give up writing.

  4. Absolutely Michael. I for one want to read reasoned and informative ideas. Not emotion. But tell me something I never understand. On the one hand I read about corporate debt. On the other that corporations won’t spend and store up £700 billion. How does that work?

    1. Good point, Terry. I have tried to answer that by noting that cash hoarding is done by large multinationals when they can issue debt at very low rates. Often the cash hoard is put in tax haven to avoid tax. But for small and medium companies, there is not much hoarding and a lot of debt build up. Quite a few of my posts deal with this issue – search corporate debt or awash with cash. Also I have some papers that go into this in more detail. Also look for Marx not Minsky

  5. Hey Mike
    Please keep up the great analysis and commentary. Required more than ever now. Every one else, please discipline your comments to short paragraphs and ignore the trolls.

  6. Dear Michael, that’s a sensible decision – I’ve been following your Blog for a couple of years now, but it seems to me that this kind of Marxist political economy is more important than ever in this moment of crisis. We really should look at the emerging economic constellations “with sober senses” and remain critical of certain illusions and theoretical weaknesses of left-Keynesianism. The pointless monologues and insults that some people left in the comment section never contributed anything to that project. Thanks for your work!
    Greetings from Frankfurt, Emil

  7. Many thanks for you work, that I read with very interest, and expect receiving it.

  8. Happy Mayday Comrade.
    Thank you and I support you and your decision. We met briefly at swp festival last year. I know you’re busy , i sent a question request asking your opinion on Britain’s trading position/competitive state ready for Brexit and would really appreciate your input perhaps a paper.
    Kind Regards

  9. It crossed my mind: your interest in the falling rate of profit. A s a general law it seems true but does not increasing productivity, ie increases in real use values, counter the falling trend? In a situation like the us where innovation has flatlined then falling rate of profit has no counter balance. Have I got that right? Is that why we haven’t seen capitalism collapse faster. ie real wealth production counters the falling rate of profit. ?

    1. There is a complicated answer to your queries. Increased sales of use values can boost the mass of profit and counteract the fall in profitability for a time – search my blog for double edge law. Capitalism strives to boost the productivity of labour but in doing so there is a tendency for the profitability of that investment to fall over time – why? search my blog post for profitability and see my book, Marx 200 for a more detailed explanation. Or read Marx Capital Vol 3 Chap 13-15. The key point here is productivity growth comes into conflict with profitability and can only be resolved (temporarily) by slumps that devalue the cost of capital and raise profitability. I think there are other reasons as well as increasing the mass of profit that have counteracted the fall in profitability sufficiently to avoid a slump. But it does not work forever.

  10. From Chile…..I teach economic sociology in a Chilean university…My students and I enjoy discussing your extremely valuable thoughts on capitalism in Latin America and the Global South. Congratulations for your outstanding contribution to serious Marxist thinking and analysis.

  11. I subscribe to your blog Michael, and I feel what is unique about your blog is that you use a dialectical approach to economics and other topics from a contemporary Marxist perspective. As a whole I never make comments on your posts as I’m not an economist, however, the comment section should not be a repository for abuse of yourself or other contributors. That said, keep up the very good work and continue with the analysis you have adopted to excellent effect. Gary L.

  12. Sounds sensible to me. A lot of the time I just skip the comments as you just end up scratching your head at things which aren’t worth it. But I end up looking because I want to know if something helpful has been written, so this should be very helpful.

  13. This is not Facebook, comments should be serious. I often wonder why so many blogs and FB pages even put up with such people. Blocking people for abuse is more than fair or people who try to take a discussion down a completely different path and far from the original topic should be blocked.

  14. Since I’m still convinced that Syriza primary commitment to the EU as against the KKE was wrong from the start, this is goodbye. Fare well.

  15. Oh, dear. Michael is out of patience. I hope I am not one of these people leaving over long comments. I think I only did one really detailed comment on something here. I thought it was pretty good; about the idea that the European states should ‘converge’ under euro central bank rules.

    It’s in my own blog at

    I disagreed and explained how the Euro was never going to work. I never did get any comment on my comment, or maybe I just forgot to look. I will see if I see this at this page tomorrow. TR

    PS I haven’t been doing my own blog very long. I haven’t had to suspend any comments yet. tr

  16. I never really comment on your posts, but I want you to know that I really appreciate your work. I’ve learned a lot from your posts and books, keep up the good work and block those annoying attention seekers!

  17. thank you for your reply I read your SOAS piece.
    what i am saying is this. THere are two values in Marx. Use value which is wealth and exchange value which is relative cost. so if use value increases (ie society gets more wealthy) then sui generis labour automatically become cheaper. So the boss can take more ‘surplus labour’ without a downward pressure on the rate of profit. ie with food twice as cheap and labour not needing to eat more labour becomes cheaper without the boss having to lift a finger. So the counter is based on invention not increased fixed capital.. What marx didn’t present was the movement towards barbarism/extinction implied in the concept of surplus labour itself.

  18. Since this is on comments, i would like to ask a question that is not a usual topic. Profit is fundamental in Marx’s economic theory and Michael Roberts does a great job explain this theory. There is some controversy on the profit law in Marx’s but many here think the data supports that law. I just ran across this post that claims income/profit are not as fundamental in capitalist economies as power-through-redistribuition. Mr. Roberts could you comment on this?

    1. The so-called power argument against capitalism has always seemed weak to me. It is linked to the idea of inequality, monopoly power and power in the workplace. It ignores or rejects Marx’s value theory of the exploitation of labour power, which in my view provide the foundation of inequality and the power of capital. Yes, capital’s monopoly of property and the means of production give it power over labour, but that power is a product of capital, the social relation, not vice versa. I quote from the abstract of the paper of Nitzan and Bichler: “Capitalized power hinges not on growth, but on strategic sabotage” ??

  19. Michael.
    I made a small intervention in a past post that may not have understood the objective, but never mind.
    I wanted to ask a question: To what extent did Marx take mass consumption into account as one of the factors in the law of falling profits? The question is that in order to restore the profitability of companies, taking advantage of the fragility of work, imperialism in the exit from the Covid-19 crisis (If there is a way out?) Should subject the peripheral countries to an even greater overexploitation, thereby imposing less purchasing power of families, creating a kind of “seesaw law” so that one goes up from one side to the other, it has to go down, more if those who go down come out of the seesaw, the top one falls!

  20. I’m sorry you’ve gone through such grief, Michael, when your generosity in sharing your insights with us is so welcome, perhaps especially to those of us who are interested general readers. I’d like to hope that some of the problematic comments came from people who got carried away and saw their interventions as debate, or were simply over-enthusiastic, and not aware of how their comments were perceived. Perhaps others forgot what courtesy and generosity they once knew how to display to others, and how one should behave when they are guests (so to speak) in your space. I hope that the supportive comments from many others – experts and non-experts – is a reminder that the great majority of people are hugely appreciative of this blog.

  21. Great Michael

    From Portugal,

    We said: “A Luta continua, fascismo nunca mais….” ,

    “The fight continues, fascism never again…”

    Continue your work, we need to read your analysis.

    Of dogs, pigs and sheep the history does not speak…

    A big hug from


  22. Michael Roberts; I’m a huge fan of your blog (from a Marxist view) It’s been has been a life saver. Your understanding of the world economy is non – pareil. I echo the comments of KM Shook “experts and non-experts – is a reminder that the great majority of people are hugely appreciative of this blog.” Thank you for making this not inconsiderable effort. Comradely; Paul Hubbard, Prov RI USA

  23. About time! 😉

    I didn’t want to say anything myself because it was not my place but frankly certain people have clearly been cynically using your blog as a platform for themselves for years, sometimes without making any effort to enraging with the subject of the post in question.

    As this has turned into a bit of general post for asking questions, I have one for you.

    While your expertise is offering a Marxist analysis of capitalist economics, with the growth of support for the idea of ‘socialism,’ in recent years in Europe and US, however confused and contradictory that understanding might be, there has been a growing debate about the viability of socialist planning with certain, what we’d define as radical left social-democrats and even some Marxists who should know better, unconsciously resurrecting the ideas of so-called ‘Market Socialism,’ the most competent expositor of was in my view Alec Nove in his landmark book, The Economics of Feasible Socialism, 1983.

    This is in a way the more radical wing of the neo-Keynesian revival you have covered in great detail on your blog, reviewing some of the most important works from that school that have been published over the last period.

    Do you plan on looking into this and giving you take and analysis in the future?

    While I agree it was right to focus on neo-Keynesian first, it being by far the ideas that carry great social weight at the moment but I am confident we are going to see a greater interest in ideas that explore these deeper more complex questions as time goes on with books like, The Peoples Republic of Walmart,

  24. Thank you Michael, I appreciate your work, I’ve been following you for years and only recently felt the need to comment.
    Your blog has been fundamental in my understanding of Marxian economics so I appreciate whatever measures you feel necessary to continue carrying out your work in peace.

    Thanks again for your hard work.

  25. Just want to state how gratifying your blog is Michael. Please ensure that your work continues. Its an insightful and essential clarifying read for those of us challenged by the artifice of capitalist economics. Take care and keep safe.

  26. Michael, your contribution to the defense of Marx and his explanation of how the world really works is invaluable and is not presented in a way that would alienate the class conscious worker or those approaching Marx for the first time. The Internet is a great tool for the masses but like all good things, there is a downside. It amazes me the level of your output but as someone who has spent may years in the trade union movement, a call to order is necessary at times.

  27. “For that matter, the ‘financialisation’ theorists of the Minsky school are also at a loss, because this slump is not the result of a credit crunch or financial crash, although that may yet come.”

    Rates stop rising after December 2018, peaking at 2-2.25%, the fed begins lowering rates early spring, balance sheet run of is stopped, repo issues in September which continue still? I think this situation has been used for nefarious means. Are you so certain the issue wasn’t credit? If the issues that caused 2008 were never corrected, wouldn’t this still be credit driven? Its funny, i always imagined the total collapse of the financial system to look something like this. If i was in charge (and those that are currently in charge, are not fit to be in charge) and i didn’t want to tell the truth about our situation i’d latch on to anything to deflect and blame. What i’ve noticed alot lately, is a flood of articles all telling me why things are never going to be the same and use of the word depression. It’s like the media is trying to condition me to a lower standard of living. Thank you for your articles, its nice to get different perspectives.

    Speaking of lack of trust/confidence, mine has never returned since 2008 which is why i’m so hesitant to buy the story i’m being sold right now. And none of the actions TPTB have taken since 2008 has even given me a reason to ever hope to give it back to TPTB.

  28. I am a regular follower of your column. It gives me a wonderful and crtical worldview of economy and politics.. very enlightening. Bouquet or Brickbat.. Please continue your masterly work.. We are with you.
    AA Nainar Chennai India.

  29. First of all, I sould say that I understand you very well. For some time now I don’t read the comments, just I have a look and almost ever it’s enough. Well I am a follower of your blog from two years ago even I have transated some of your post to Spanish and I encourage you to continue, I really appreciate your work though not always I agree with your opinions.

    Have avery good day!!

    Patxi Fernaández

  30. Thanks for an excellent post on China’s economic prospects and Covid-19. Could you contrast Chinese Stalinism’s success with Soviet Stalinism’s economic failures beginning in the 1960s after their successful industrial development before that? Or am I wrong about this being different?

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