66 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
start. The analytical roots of the theory of accumulation and income distribution go deep into the classical school. From Petty and later the Physiocrats to Ricardo and Marx ^the possibility of accumulation was governed by the size and mode of utilisation of the surplus" (p 7), while surplus itself was generated in production and determined by the nature of production relations and the growth of productive forces.
Accumulation and Crisis
Harris believes that "it was this absolutely strategic role of the size and use of the surplus viewed from the perspective of the economy as a whole and of its process of expansion, which dictated the significance of the distribution of income for classical economic analysis" (p 7). However, classical economises did not develop a theory of crises integrating the theory of accumulation and income distribution. Surely Ricardo did conceive of a "stationary state" but this was brought upon capitalist development not by the contradictions internal to it but by the regressiveness of the landed clement. A weakening of the grip of the feudal element, in the immediate form of corn imports, could always rescue capitalism.
It was left to Marx to develop a theory of crises integral to the theory of accumulation. The never ending drive of the capitalist to accumulate brings with it the conditions which spell doom for the capitalist. The problem of "realising" value and the tendency of the rate of profit to decline with increasing organic composition of capital are manifestations of the same process. While the general crisis of capitalism does not imply a breakdown of the system, it creates conditions which can facilitate the overthrow of the system.
It was in this context that Marxists analyzed the Great Depression of the early part of this century. The depression fittcp very well into Marxist analysis of capitalism, while it caught the bourgeois economists napping. While one section of the bourgeois economists had not even understood the essence of the Depression and were recommending policies which would only aggravate the crisis (namely the neo-classicals), another section was able to provide a short lease of life by asking the government to intervene more effectively in the economy. Keynes understood partially the dynamics of capitalism and was able to bail out depression economies from one of their worst crises. And it is mainly in this post-Keynesian phase of bourgeois economics that concern for accumu-