jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Tue Sep 12 01:01:30 MDT 1995

I have read some of MIM's literature.

1. productive labor

What a joke! MIM uses this criterion to bash the proletariat in the
imperialist countries  but then do they support productive labor in the
semi-colonies? No, they urge alliances with the national bourgeoisie.  So
it turns out that their criterion of productive labor is not used to defend
a principled proletarian exclusivism at all.  It is merely used to dismiss
the importance of revolutionary class struggle in the imperialist countries
(the importance of which is brilliantly discussed in Walter Daum's book The
Life and Death of Stalinism).  And where's the proof that the proletariat
has to be productive (of surplus value) in order to be revolutionary? Many
wage slaves in the service industries make less than some of those in the
manufacturing industries in the imperialist countries. In Carchedi's
analysis, workers can be oppressed without being formally exploited.   And
what about the growing technologically unemployed or in the phrase of JE
Cairnes 'non-competing groups'?

2. transfer of value

This is a complicated question and MIM's treatment is primitive.  Guglielmo
Carchedi has raised the discussion to a higher level.  But to argue that
the transfer is both so great and so evenly distributed to coopt the mass
of the working class in the imperialist countries is a joke.  Note that MIM
implicitly recognizes this when they argue that it is the Keynesian state
(not the imperialist transfer of value) which has kept living standards
high in the imperialist countries.  But this returns us to the limits of
the mixed economy as theorized by Mattick. Of course MIM may argue that
only imperialist states had recourse to the Keynesian strategy.  Be this as
it may, even that strategy has limits, as is becoming manifest to almost
everybody except to social democrats and MIM.

3. misuse of Lenin

in that passage from Lenin, it is clear that he did not take the labor
aristocracy to be as encompassing as claimed by MIM.  And in Engels
comments on the topic, it is clear the persistence of labor conservatism on
a mass basis depended on the monopolistic position of British capital, sure
to whither away.

4. MIM on Black nationalism

MIM has suggested that it is treasonous to fight fascist nationalism in the
Black community.

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