Profit, Elasticity and Nature

  • Kohei Saito
Part of the Luxemburg International Studies in Political Economy book series (LISPE)


The problem of Marx’s ‘law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall’ remains highly controversial today. Marx ceased emphasising the importance of the ‘law’ after 1868, as if he also started doubting its validity. Defending the validity of the law, Saito attempts to explain why Marx seemed to alter his emphasis. According to Saito, this change occurred as Marx more clearly recognised the enormous ‘elasticity of capital’ based on the elasticity of the material world. Marx began intensive research in natural sciences to comprehend how the elasticity of nature could be appropriated by capital to counteract the falling rate of profit. The elasticity of nature is, however, not infinite. When it reaches a limit, it suddenly loses its benefits. Capital continues to overcome any limits of nature, but it ultimately causes ecological crises and undermines the material conditions for free and sustainable human development.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kohei Saito
    • 1
  1. 1.Osaka City University, Department of EconomicsOsakaJapan

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