Re LOV and Tory Stabilisation ?

Chris Burford cburford at
Thu Jul 6 23:11:58 MDT 1995

Jerry gently tried to sober me up by writing:

It is true that the Tory shake-up has nothing to do with love per se, but
that doesn't mean that it has *everything* to do with the LOV.  I
understand you to be saying that the logic of the accumulation of
capital  is driving  British state policy and is at the heart of the
differences within the  ruling class concerning government intervention.
I believe, though, that you have fallen a little too much in love with
LOV since this understanding of LOV leaves very little room for the relative
autonomy of the capitalist state.

I enjoyed the post but it seems creative not to agree entirely. My
analysis last night was strengthened by the right wing Daily
Telegraph claiming today that there was an agreement between Heseltine
and Major, *before* Major announced the election. Furthermore this
morning on the BBC Heseltine denied a secret agreement but said they
had been discussing strategic questions for a long time.

There may even have been a small amount of warmth between the two but
the fact that they could trust each other enough for a plan to emerge,
is linked with their fundamental economic perspective.
Yes it is an overstatement to say that it has *everything* to do with
the Law of Value. But I want to support the fundamental resonance of
the dynamics. The German bourgoisie can accumulate surplus value
in sufficient quantities to manage the massive restructuring of
East Germany at a tune of 150 billion marks a year.

But the weak secular position of British capitalism, means that it can
only seek to accumulate further at the expense of its working class.
That not only weakens its economy but also weakens the cultural and
social level of the workforce in a way which makes it difficult for
British capitalism to keep up with the most modern technical innovations.

The conflict between the Little Englander and the Europeans, or
between the bikers and the corporatists, is fundamental because of the
way the dynamics of capitalism have affected the British economy.
The Law of Value has a silent and pervasive role in shaping these
events. I do not see that as  inconsistent with the relative
autonomy of the state. The dynamics interact and pass through one
another. It is a question of seeing several dimensions existing
simultaneously and seeing the Law of Value as being of enormous
significance in the economic dimension.

Unless we can satisfy ourselves of the relevance of the Law of Value
to concrete analysis, we would have to accept Justin's point that
belief in it is a sort of political credo and nothing more.

Chris B, London.

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