A Theory of the ‘Needs of Capital’

  • Paul Wetherly


The nature of the economic structure that explains the character of superstructural phenomena is its need to be ‘stabilised’.1 The needs of the economic structure — or, more generally, needs of capital — are functional requirements, that is, conditions that must be met for capitalism to continue.2 There are needs of capital because a capitalist economy, left to its own devices, is unstable in the sense that it is not self-sufficient and not capable of ensuring its own maintenance or reproduction. Thus the needs of capital consist in the forms or sources of this instability and are, by extension, needs for external conditions that will eliminate or effectively manage it. Superstructural phenomena are as they are because, being so, they secure these functional requirements or conditions.


Labour Market Social Capital Productive Force Economic Structure Capitalist Economy 
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Copyright information

© Paul Wetherly 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Wetherly
    • 1
  1. 1.Leeds Metropolitan UniversityUK

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