Re LOV and Tory Stabilisation ?

Howie Chodos howie at
Thu Jul 6 21:42:02 MDT 1995

Two comments on Chris B.'s latest. It seems to me that the decisive split in
British capital is between The City and Manufacturing. The City is dominant
and has been for quite a while. This has had a major impact on public
policy, as well as on such features as the North / South divide. The
strength of the British financial sector (now I may be overstating this,
since it is based on casual observation) is shown by the recently announced
fact that Britain has more direct investment in the US than Japan (can
someone confirm that I got this right?).

In the world economy today having a position of strength in the financial
sector is not to be sneered at. In fact, a case could be made that it is the
dominant sector of international capital (in the July Monde Diplomatique
Susan George says that it is now thought that the value of monetary
transactions exceeds the total productive investment in industry and
commerce). It is without doubt the sector undergoing the fastest evolution.
All this to say that while Britain as a whole remains one of the weaker
members of the G7, it is not without a position of considerable importance
in the world economy. And the source of the profits of its dominant sector
is worldwide as well.

On the other side of the issue I have heard it argued that Thatcherism's
attack on the working class reached a point where it ceased being productive
for British capitalism in the economic sense. Though I do not have the
empirical knowledge to back that up, it at least strikes me as being
compatible with the fact that it is not necessarily the countries with the
lowest wages which are the most attractive to investors and manufacturers.

Second comment. To say that the LOV has a bearing on concrete analysis does
not specify what type of concrete analysis. It could be that the LOV has a
bearing on price formation but none on political evolution, if such
evolution could be shown to be independent of price formation. I am not
arguing this, but I am suggesting that there are two different points which
need to be made in order to sustain your way of applying the LOV to concrete
analysis. In the same vein, one could agree that the LOV has some bearing,
without it necessarily having the predominant influence. I noticed that you
phrased it carefully, arguing that it has "enormous significance". I still
can't say that the evidence you adduced from the case of recent British
politics convinced me of this.

Howie Chodos

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