Steve.Keen at Steve.Keen at
Mon Oct 9 14:25:43 MDT 1995

Jim Miller comments:

|   Steve makes the mistake of talking about "capital" and
|"profit" in socialist (or communist) society. But this is
|just fantastic. It seems to me to be adapting to the idea
|that capitalism is eternal.

Jim, the sense in which I was using "capital" in that post
was as physical machinery, not a social relation. Equally,
my references were mainly to an investible surplus, not
profit, because while the latter is a social category, the
former is a necessity in any productive system which grows
over time. If a social system doesn't produce a surplus
over current consumption and depreciation, then it cannot

And while I do not believe that capitalism is eternal, it
is certainly far more durable than Marx thought, and than
many Marxists today seem to appreciate. One reason for
this disparity between belief and reality may be that
some of Marx's analytical apparatus are flawed. Khalil's
paper points out one such potential problem with the
TRPF, and I thought it wise, in the midst of your series
of posts, to raise this one flaw.

Those who have been on this list since its inception would
be aware that I could have started criticising your
analysis a lot earlier. But for the sake of avoiding
bashing old ears too much, I refrained until you
started on the TRPF.

The opening to your response to me leads me to conclude
that I might as well stop with the TRPF:

|   Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, with capital's
|power defeated on a world scale, the new society of the
|associated producers gradually takes shape. In place of
|the anarchy of the market, conscious planned production and
|distribution is instituted. The law of value is defeated
|by rational collective control of the means of production.
|Capital, profit, money, commodities and value disappear.

I see your reply as utopian. Allowing for Louis's recent
arguments that what occurred in the USSR was not planning
as it should be, I cannot help but see your comments above
as being devoid of any appreciation for what happened in
the 20th Century.

Throw-away lines about the disappearance of money,
commodities and value under socialism may have been good
revolutionary rhetoric in the 19th century, but if you
want to be taken seriously as we approach the 21st,
you had better have a sound analysis as to how these
things might feasibly be done.

Steve Keen

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