Grossmann's key contribution to political-economic theory was his book, *The Law of Accumulation and Breakdown of the Capitalist System*, a study in marxian crisis theory. It was published in Leipzig months before the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

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2 Career 3 Contribution to Theory |

Though apparently never a member of the German Communist Party, Grossmann had remained a supporter of the USSR longer than his colleagues in Frankfurt. Hitler's accession to power in 1933 forced him first to Paris, and then via Britain to New York, where he remained in relative isolation from 1937 - 1945. He spent the last five years of his life in East Germany.

Grossmann's work was finally made available in English translation in 1979 by Jairus Banaji, for an Indian Trotskyite organisation, the Platform Tendency. A recent edition is: ISBN 0745304591

*The Law of Accumulation* was his attempt to demonstrate that marxian political economy had been underestimated by its critics - and by extension that revolutionary critiques of capitalism were still valid. Amongst other arguments, it sets forth the following demonstration (for a complete definition of the terms employed, the whole book is recommended):

Further, let

and let

After *j* years, at the assumed rate of accumulation *a _{c}*, the constant capital

At the assumed rate of accumulation *a _{v}*, the variable capital

The year after (*j* + 1) accumulation is continued as usual, according to the formula:

For *k* to be greater than 0, it is necessary that:

This is a real number as long as *s > a _{v}*

The number of years *n* down to the absolute crisis thus depends on four conditions:

- The level of organic composition
*Ω*. The higher this is the smaller the number of years. The crisis is accelerated. - The rate of accumulation of the constant capital
*a*, which works in the same direction as the level of the organic composition of capital._{c} - The rate of accumulation of the variable capital
*a*, which can work in either direction, sharpening the crisis or defusing it, and whose impact is therefore ambivalent._{v} - The level of the rate of surplus value
*s*, which has a defusing impact; that is, the greater is*s*, the greater is the number of years*n*, so that the breakdown tendency is postponed.

- the rate of accumulation of the constant capital
*a*is reduced, and the tempo of accumulation slowed down;_{c} - the constant capital is devalued which again reduces the rate of accumulation
*a*;_{c} - labour power is devalued, hence wages cut, so that the rate of accumulation of variable capital
*a*is reduced and the rate of surplus value_{v}*s*is enhanced; - finally, capital is exported, so that again the rate of accumulation
*a*is reduced._{c}

Much of the remainder of Grossmann's book is devoted to exploring these "elasticities" or counter-crisis tendencies, tracking both their logical and their actual, historical development.