Unequal Exchange

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Wed Feb 1 02:03:53 MST 1995

>               Boddhisatva defended small firms as closer to socialism,
>perhaps as embroyos of socialism. About this--and in a very Luxemburgian way--
>Mattick has written:

"Capitalistically inclined social strata that are the victims of
monopolization cannot be won over to socialism because their special social
positions would be destroyed even more rapidly and thoroughly under it than
under monopoly capitalism.  At most they can be won over to a capitalist
program that caters to their special interests, in a word, an
anti-socialist policy.  Thus behind the slogan of a struggle against
state-monopoly capitalism lurks the proclamation of a counterrevolutionary
policy directed against socialism

"It is however conceivable that as monopolistic pressure intensifies,
driving segments of the petite bourgeoisie into the proletariat, some of
these petit bourgeois layers will be persuaded that their last chance lies
with state capitalism, wich they hope will throw open the gates to the
career monopoly capitalism had barred to them; one glimpse into the
'socialist countries' is sufficient to confirm their optimistic
expectations. However, for the workers the same glimpse gives a somewhat
different picture.  They have no burning desire for this kind of socialism.
 Therefore for them communist policy, in countries where it carries some
weight, e.g., in France or Italy, does not represent the embodiment of the
desire for the revolutionary transformation of state-monopoly capitalism
into state capitalism, but their only immediate iterests within the
existing social system. The function of the communist parties are
reformist, not revolutionary, and ultimately, therefore, they serve to
sustain the continued existence of state monopoly capitalism" Economics,
Politics and the Age of Inflation, p. 86

So it is not only the Gramm's and reactionary republicans who can lead a
petty bourgeois politics; Communists have done it before, and in either
variant such politics pose a threat to the struggle for a classless

and Boddhisatva asked me about division I goods or producer, as opposed to
consumer,  goods, to which I pointed because as opposed to underconsumption
theory which predicts an excess of consumer goods because of depressed
wages, it is by the overproduction of Div I commodities that crises often
break out. See Chapters 8 and 9 of Mattick's Marx and Keynes, esp. p. 84;
these chapters are a very clear critique of underconsumption theory, which
boiled over into the famous exchange between Sweezy and Cogoy republished
in the International Journal of Political Economy, v 17, no 2.


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