(fwd from Jim Drysdale) On Marks reply to John Gulick

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Wed Dec 12 10:32:13 MST 2001

>From Jim Drysdale,

Mark writes...

snip> Surely this reversal of fortunes will be set in concrete after
the coming slump is over (assuming growth ever does resume without
another world war). In fact, the domination of China over Japan is an
aftershock from the collapse of Japanese competitivity against the
USA.  This means that any future restructuring of the world order must
also include the definitive emergence of a powerful Asian
politico-military competitor to the US and Europe. This in turn will
leave Europe in the weakest position, unless it can make a stepchange
in the direction of a European federal state with its own armed forces
and defence industries.  Unless the EU shakes off US tutelage, it will
be destroyed in future competitive conflict with Asia and the US.

JD: The bulk of Marks reply certainly captures the appearance of the
recent period.  However, as the above extract reveals, Mark *covers
his bets* on the future with; 'assuming growth ever does resume
without another world war' whilst simultaneously allowing the
bourgeoisie the luxury of re-ordering the world in their interregional
competitive interests.  Not wishing to be a soothsayer this cover your
bets approach by Mark seems sensible.  But, is it?  That is,
appearance is created by the movement of essence.  Failing to address
essence in decline leaves many, and not just Mark, to project previous
and current appearance into a mythical future covered by, for example,
the proviso of, 'assuming growth ever does resume without another
world war'.

The progressive malfunction of the law of value gives more frequent,
deeper and more convulsive crisis.  At each stage the stakes get
higher.  That is, class struggle increasingly takes centre stage.  It
would be to fall into bourgeois (empirical) wish lists to assume that
crises occur only that capital can restart its self-expansion.  Our
rulers too receive a lesson as the progressive malfunction of the law
of value curtails their class driven activities.

Certainly, our rulers would be only too happy to revisit 20th century
global conflicts where working class slaughter working class and
growth is rebirthed in the aftermath.  Collectively and obviously, our
rulers have not been overcome by a bout of goodness.  But,
collectively, they are now as one.  Capital has seen to that.

Briefly......the forces of production have become fettered.  Of
course, our rulers may still posses ability to *think* about and thus
continue to plan for growth but, the forces of production cannot now
fulfill their role in capitalist society.......the achievement of
surplus value extraction.

Again, briefly........the contradiction at the heart of capital
between concrete useful labour, common to all societies, and abstract
labour (value), the social form that labour takes in capitalist
society, progressively becomes more (dialectically) antagonistic.

For Marx, the evolution of capitalist development is of an entity with
a definite life process.  We live in an ever more complex and evolving
moment of that process.  To view the evolving global depression as but
one in a line of mechanistic economic cycles is to miss the deepening
crises of society.  To move past *appearance only* empirical analysis
requires re-capturing Marxism's theoretical foundations.



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