The welfare state and a note about rally against privatisation

rakesh bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Thu Apr 25 02:47:03 MDT 1996


Zeynep recently wrote:

>Economically, it is not possible any more (save for either another war, or
>an technological innovation on the scope of the internal combustion engine
>-computers don't count really, because in spite of many changes computers do
>not involve an across the board destruction and renewal of technology-). So,
>the only way to increase profits is through more worker exploitation (both
>absolute and relative, return to sweatshops in many countries, and flexible
>work methods, which means the workers are flexed around as demand oscillates).

How do we know that much of what has been taken as evidence of a falling
rate of profit (widespread bankruptcies, unemployment, high debt/equity
ratios, etc) is not merely the result of the devaluations which have
resulted from the entry of new capitals modernized with the latest in
computer technology?

Once these inefficient firms are wiped out, capital will then be available
for further modernization.  All we need is douche (Schumpeter meant here a
shower  with which he compared a good, deep crisis) to wipe these firms out
once and for all and prevent them from absorbing ever more capital only
because they already represent so much sunk costs.

  Moreover, as firms become more adept with computers and information and
communication technology,  productivity will explode, capital-saving
innovations will proliferate, profitability will be restored,
capital-absorbing and employment-generating investments will take off and
real wages will resume their upward climb.  The golden age awaits us.

Technology is only the stream in which we must learn to swim.

If only half the percentage of Turks were on-line as us Americans, you
could well become the dynamo of the Middle East.

Is there anything wrong with this picture?

Rakesh



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