Crisis? What crisis?

XTROT666 at aol.com XTROT666 at aol.com
Sun Feb 12 02:41:47 MST 1995


On the subject of Capitalism in crisis, Will Brown wrote:
   >On the subject of whether capitalism is in crisis...it is easy to
see evidence of crisis...mass unemployment,financial dislocation,
beggars on the streets. But such evidence of crisis has been easy to
find in much of capitalism'sm history. A better question is whether
there have been any recent developments that threaten the fundamental
stability of the sytem. Here's a couple of suggestions -
1) The globalisation of the world economy undermining the nation state
2) The collapse of the communist block creating an integrated world
market and thus a world proletariat
3) The impossibility of major imperealist war because of the scale
of weapons of mass destruction
4) The development of communication resources allowing workers to
network on a non-heirarchical yet international basis<

   The problem with the oft used term "crisis" is that it implies a boiling
point or last stage of deterioration. One of the (understandably)
short-sighted aspects of much of early marxism was the inability to see how
adaptable capitalism would become (with the intervention of the state as a
conduit for profit, and global nature of the economy) in the face of
"crisis".
   Let's face it, "we" have been discussing the crisis of capitalism for over
a hundred years.  At least three of the four features of present-day
capitalism that Will Brown mentions above could just as likely be redefined
as stabilizing elements for capitalism, rather than indications of impending
chaos or downfall. At most, they are challenges to be overcome.
   Many of the things that marxists have pointed out to indicate "crisis",
such as unemployment, are also basic features of how the whole machine runs.
This is news to no one, but the belief that such things lead necessarilly to
crisis or revolution is not  a belief that has panned out with any historical
certainty.
   We should, perhaps, come up with a different, and less definitative word
to indicate any cracks in the capitalist armour. The ruling class has shown
itself quite adept at squeezing the poor or changing the rules in order to
maitain profits. I see no reason to define the current state of affairs (or
the forseable future) with terms like "crisis" or "ungovernable", or any of
the other apocalyptic terms so favored by people like Lenin and Trotsky, who
often thought the "final blow" was just around the preverbial corner.
                                                    Don Kenner


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