Labor theory of value debate

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Tue Oct 4 13:30:44 MDT 1994



On Fri, 30 Sep 1994 Steve.Keen at unsw.edu.au wrote:

> I don't deny that exploitation is a source of super-profits. My
> observation was only that there is also the perspective that a
> super-exploited economy is not going to be of assistance in
> absorbing any surplus generated by the exploiting nation.
>

Does your observation that "there is also the perspective that a
super-exploited economy is not going to be of assistance in
absorbing any surplus generated by the exploiting nation" imply
that there is some other solution within the context of capitalism?

Do you believe that monopoly capitalism can function in any mode
other than one in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?
This "contradiction" seems intrinsic to the system. In New York
City, Wall Street firms have been laying off workers by the
thousands since the late 80's while showing record profits.
Meanwhile, real estate values have collapsed in many upscale
neighborhoods because there are no more 23 year old investment
bankers who can afford a luxury condominium.

Meanwhile, throughout Latin America there are vast numbers of unemployed
who can't afford to buy American consumer goods. But
global capital continues to ratchet up the unemployment rate and,
as a result, impoverishes the world's population as a whole.

But isn't that the way capitalism has worked all along? These
contradictions seem to be built into the system and I fail to see any
way out of this impasse except through socialism. Sfaffian and
post-Keynsian economics may possibly address the needs of a
minority of the human race in the industrialized nations, but fails
to provide answers for the overwhelming majority of the planet's
population. Tinkering with the money supply, etc., is NOT the
answer for Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria and the rest of the third
world.


Louis Proyect


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