Since that time, and especially since the First World War, the political and social framework has become much more unstable, and there has been a rapid growth of state intervention in the economy, with the consequence that political economy (or what economists are more inclined to call macroeconomics) has enjoyed a notable revival, one of its most prominent features being the renaissance of Marxist economic theory. Kühne (1979), in the most elaborate study so far of the relation between Marxist and ‘academic’ economics, ‘sets out to demonstrate three things’: first, ‘that it was Marx who created the basis for modern macroeconomic theory’; second, ‘that Marx was not simply a precursor of all these different theories, but laid the foundations for a continuous development of his own concepts’;2 and, third, ‘that despite his reticence on the future of socialist society, Marx in the Grundrisse did at least sketch the transformation of the social system as far as the era of automation’ (pp. 4-5).