law of value and socialism

Chris Burford 100423.2040 at
Sat Oct 12 01:05:05 MDT 1996

Some weeks [months] ago Michael challenged me about the law of
value and whether I was prepared to accommodate to capitalism.
(If I understand the criticism correctly.)

At its worst, yes, I am more likely to give Schweikert a
hearing than many members of this list, except that his book
was available only in hard back. So I decided to remain ignorant
till the paperback. I regret that Peter Burns and Justin departed
to M2. I understood they felt that they were suspected of
being sympathetic to capitalism, and merely wanting to reform it.

With the triumph of neo-liberalism world wide it is
very hard to envisage socialism in one country, or even
social democracy in one country.

My argument with Gina was about the economic programme of the
cultural revolution. The economic programme of the present
regime, for all its flaws, looks strong economically from a Chinese
nationalist point of view.

It is very hard for the ANC in South Africa to buck the law of
value world wide, and the present power of finance capital.

We are in a global agenda of reforms (whether those reforms are
fought for with a revolutionary or a reformist spirit). If anyone
knows an agenda for revolution that has not yet been stated, perhaps
they can do so.

That does not mean prettifying capitalism. The reverse.
It does mean understanding why our fellow workers like its ability
to put more use values at less labour cost onto the market.
Why our fellow workers like to be consumers of commodities.

I think major reforms are possible about a neo-Keynsian agenda
for the world economy as a whole.

There should be a major push
against finance capital and landed capital, and production of
commodities should be brought under much more democratic,
including environmentally responsible, control. I think we have
to compromise for the time being about capital accumulation
in the production of commodities, but that neo-Keysian initiatives
on a global scale should be prioritised for those countries
weak in capital and less advanced in the means of production,
to try to even out unequal exchange. Transnational companies
should come under a global tax and greater control. Some could
be turned into global agencies accountable to the UN.

None of this of course will happen without struggle.


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