Review: “Super Profits and Crises! Modern U.S. Capitalism” – Victor Perlo

I still have one more chapter to read (“Socialism vs. Capitalism”) but I couldn’t wait to share this book with everyone because this book is FRIGGIN AWESOME!

Victor Perlo was a Marxist-Leninist economist and statistician. In “Super Profits and Crises! Modern U.S. Capitalism,” Perlo combines an immense amount of economic and statistical data with the most outstanding Marxist-Leninist analysis. But it isn’t only data that Perlo examines with a fine-tooth Marxist-Leninist comb. Probably the most impressive aspect of this book is how Perlo, like a search engine web crawler (and in the days before the widespread availability of Internet), indexes, examines, critiques, and synthesized the works of a vast array of other scholars, both Marxist and non-Marxist, with a Marxist-Leninist analysis. In this book you will encounter the names of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Hyman Lumer, James S. Allen, Philip Foner, William Z. Foster, Gus Hall, Seymour Melman, John Maynard Keynes, Smedley Butler, Alfred Marshall, Paul Samuelson, J. A. Hobson, and many, many more. And although he doesn’t mention them, some of what Perlo writes in this book reminds me of Michel Chossudovsky’s works on militarism and the role of the Bretton Woods Institutions, Rob Steven’s analysis of Japanese imperialism, and Michael Parenti’s many books, especially “The Sword and the Dollar” and “Against Empire”. Perlo takes the good, the bad, and the ugly of all these scholars and synthesizes all of them to create a Marxist-Leninist masterpiece. Admittedly, I was slightly stung by Perlo’s criticisms, although justified, of Melman’s social-democratic conclusions in his books, such as “Pentagon Capitalism,” because Melman’s books have a special place in my library.

Whatever social ill, event, or theory that has arisen or occurred since at least the time of the American Revolution, be it mass unemployment, colonialism, imperialism, Marx’s theory of surplus value, Lenin’s theory of monopoly capitalism, the failure of Keynesian economics, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow, de-industrialization, the export of capital, inflation, national liberation struggles, the Russian revolution, WWI and WWII, the atomic bombing of Japan, the Third World debt crisis, the exploitation of immigrants in the U.S., the Vietnam War, the Korean War, etc., it is addressed in this book from a Marxist-Leninist perspective, backed by massive amounts of data. No rock is left unturned in this book.

To paraphrase Scott Atkin’s character, Yuri Boyka, in the Undisputed martial arts movies (you should watch these – they kick ass), this is “the most complete Marxist-Leninist book in the world!”


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