Why did the USSR fall?
xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xxx
Sun Apr 22 13:57:24 MDT 2001
At 01:07 PM 4/22/01 -0400, you wrote:
>[ from Mark Jones ]
>I've been arguing againt this idea for a while now. Kotz/Weir are not
>Marxists, they are what I would call fellow-travelling muckrakers and
>conspiracy-theorists, ie, they are people we should support and who
>are generally sympathetic to our cause but they are not Marxists and
>you cannot rely on them analytically.
Exactly, Mark. Just for the record, Kotz wrote a book in the 1970s _Bank
Control of Large Corporations in the United States_, which eventually
became his Phd . In the book, Kotz comes up with exactly the kind of
conspiracy/elite theory you are talking about. He depicts an economy
controlled by greedy finance capitalists who make profit at the expense of
industrial capitalists. His theory does not allow an analysis of class
issues and contradictions of capitalism in any intelligible sense. He has a
very reified understanding of Wall Street Bankers, which goes along with a
populistic fear of economic concentration in the United States. If bankers
were such _omnipotent_ as he claims, then we would not be facing all those
bank panics and recessions by now.
btw, David Kotz was in the _Socialist Scholars Conference_, giving a talk
on New Economy, in a panel with Foster and others.
For a critique of Kotz and conspiracy analysis of capitalism (Fitch and
Oppenheimar), you guys can check out Paul Sweezy's Monthly Review article
(1970s) _The Resurgence of Financial Control: Fact or Fancy?_ The
discussion centers around the issue of whether corporate or bank capital is
more important today. Sweezy criticizes the dangers of antagonizing the
opposition between two fractions of capital (without taking into account
the question of labor).
Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
Department of Political Science
135 Western Avenue, Milne 102
Albany, NY, 12222
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