banks constitute at the same time the instruments par excellence for impelling the capitalist system of production beyond its own natural limits; and become powerful means for producing crises and promoting fraud.
There is, finally, no doubt that credit will serve as a powerful lever during the transition from capitalist production to the system of production by social labour; but only as an element taken in conjunction with other radical transformations of the mode of production itself. On the other hand, the fallacies regarding the miraculous socialising influence of credit and banks are due to complete ignorance of the laws of capitalist production, and of the credit system which is one of the forms of that mode of production.
Editor's Introductory Note: Marx's theory of crises is so important for a comprehension of his whole teaching, that it cannot be omitted here. Unfortunately, every attempt to render this theory easily comprehensive in the same manner as the other parts of the work, that is to say by abbreviation and occasional modification of the terms of expression, has failed. In Capital, several hundred pages are devoted to this theory.1 Marx has here undertaken a detailed study of the proportions in which capital and labour must be distributed in the different branches of production, if the equilibrium between production and consumption is to remain undisturbed; and further, the demonstration that, with every increase of production--increase which is continuously necessitated by capital's need for accumulation--the capitalist system destroys the equilibrium, thereby causing the crises. Marx thus shows that crises are not caused by mistakes committed by the capitalists, but are, on the contrary, an____________________