The Great Depression: Lessons for Socialists

[This is an edited version of a talk delivered at the World at a Crossroads Conference in Sydney, Easter 2009. It was organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Resistance and sponsored by Green Left Weekly.]

It is widely recognised that the current global economic crisis is not a normal recession of the kind which characterises the capitalist business cycle — that is, it is not one of the periodic downturns which inevitably follow a boom period. Rather, it is a fundamental slump.