i know... how original to copy and paste (like i am not criminally guilty of it with this blog). anyway this is a pretty timely and interesting block of text.
"What [Karl] Marx was able to show was that these three necessary conditions of a capitalist mode of production [being growth-oriented, resting on the exploitation of living labor in production (i.e. a gap between what labor gets and what it creates), and being technologically and organizationally dynamic] were inconsistent and contradictory and that the dynamic of capitalism was necessarily, therefore, crisis-prone. There was, in his analysis, no way in which the combination of these three necessary conditions could produce steady and unproblematic growth. In particular, the crisis tendencies of capitalism would produce periodic phases of overaccumulation, defined as a condition in which idle capital and idle labor supply could exist side by side with no apparent way to bring these idle resources together to accomplish socially useful tasks. A generalized condition of overaccumulation would be indicated by idle productive capacity, a glut of commodities and an excess of inventories, surplus money capital (perhaps held as hoards), and high unemployment. The conditions that prevailed in the 1930s and have emerged periodically since 1973 have to be regarded as typical manifestations of the tendency towards overaccumulation."
- David Harvey from The Condition of Postmodernity (Blackwell, 1990, pp. 180-181).
courtesy of Archidose.