Oklahoma and fascism

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Sat Apr 29 07:52:48 MDT 1995

On Fri, 28 Apr 1995, jones/bhandari wrote:

> I'm not clear on this: what is the bigger threat? The Michigan Militia or
> the to-be-empowered FBI? Are the threats related? How can we fight both at
> the same time?

Are you kidding? Which is the bigger threat--the secret police of the
mightest imperialist power on earth, with the whole resources of the state
behind it, or a bunch of right wing nuts who make bombs out of fertilizer
and can't remember not to speed in trucks without plates when they blow up
a building?

We fight the FBI--just now--by defending our civil liberties against
monstosities like the Anti-Terrorism Bill (have you written your
representatives about it?), by exposing its history of crimes, disruption,
and domestic espionage, by making activists aware of its propensities and
their rights, as well as of sensible security precautions, and so forth.

We fight the militia by organizing the working class and the oppressed and
trying to turn anger at the government and the system into constructive

> Without vasoline, Slick Willie will have shoved the anti-Crime and
> -Terrorist bills far up our ass (is this how you would put it, Ralph?).
> I hope the discussion about the far right continues.  I also hope someone
> can answer this question for me: is the growth of the repressive apparatus
> (esp through the Crime Bill) in part an admission that the capitalist
> system creates permanent, large-scale unemployment which it can only manage
> through ever more severe repression?

Well, the Nazis created full employment AND a repressive apapratus far
beyond the dreams of the FBI.

--Justin Schwartz

> Here's an admittedly ponderous analysis of permanent technological
> employment by Hans Neisser in 1942 .  What I think is important about this
> analysis is that it shows that displacement of labor is not, as the
> populists would have it, the result of foreign competition (and thus to be
> solved through protectionism) but follows from the "nature" of capital
> accumulation itself (which of course neo -Althusserians may dismiss as an
> 'essentialism').
> "It never has been doubted by any theorist of rank that accumulation of
> capital in the form of fixed equipment raises the demand for labor; Marx
> expecially, consistently expounding the paramount ideas of the Ricardian
> system, depicts the capitalistic process as a race between displacement of
> labor through technological progress and reabsorption of labor through
> accumulation....
> "Without doubt the two contestants of the race are not *entirely*
> independent.  A rise in aggregate income, generated by technological
> progress, would increase also the rate of accumulation (per time unit), and
> thus speed up the reabsorption of labor.  However, the proposition that
> 'permanent' technological unemployment is impossible does not find much
> encouragement in this fact.  First of all, the favorable effect on
> accumulation can only materialize if a 'moving equilibrium' is preserved in
> the economy; if, contraiwise, displacment of labor (in the absence of
> compensatory investment) by reducing consumers' purchasing power ushers in
> a depression, the favorouble effects on accumulation of displacement might
> not materialize.  Even more important is another reflection: the amount of
> capital needed per worker according to the 'nature of industry' is a
> timeless magnitude, in the sense that, though changing over time, it exists
> at any moment.  Accumulation of capital, on the other hand, is a magnitude
> that possesses the dimension of time: so much *per week*, for example.  The
> two magnitudes cannot be directly compared; the correct way of relating
> them is: it would take, at the old rate of accumulation, so many years of
> one man's wages to accumulate enough capital to re-employ one man; and at
> the new, presumably higher rate, this many years.  Now what is important in
> this context is that the same process that reduces the number of years, by
> speeding up the rate of accumulation, also *increases* this number by
> enhancing the amount of capital per worker.  Thus, even under faborable
> conditions (continuous prosperity), the rate of labor absorption through
> accumulation remains rather unaffected by the technological progress, and
> still can be considered a largely indepedent variable.
> "The conclusion is inevitable: there is no mechanism within the framework
> of rational economic analysis that, in any situation, would secure the full
> absorption of displaced workers and render 'permanent' technological
> unemployment in any sense impossible.  How long the unemployment will last
> can be answered only by 'economic biology," which, in an all-embracing
> economic-sociological approach, tries to evaluate the strength of all
> forces working in the society."
> The forces of the state are surely being strenghtened.
> Rakesh
> citation
> Permanent Technological Unemployment by  Hans Neisser, American Economic
> Review 1942. reprinted in H Neisser, "Selected Papers"  Library of Congress
> 77-156036
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