Hillel Ticktin, or, is there an economic crisis ?

Nicholas Siemensma nsiemensma at yahoo.com.au
Sat Aug 30 20:59:11 MDT 2003

Wonderful post, Jurriaan, though I've a problem with
the opening.  We have a coexistence of surplus capital
in particular locations and phases, and a general
capital shortage.  There is both too much capital and
too little, and as you say this maps on to huge and
fundamental imbalances in the social geography of
class realities, and is inscribed into the fundamental
division between North and South.  Imperialism has
successfully externalised the overheads of chronic
crisis, and this is the basis of ruling class hubris
and self-absorption.  

But crises have many forms of appearance and
reinforcing negative tendencies, including profits
crises (and we obviously disagree about the existence
of this), which depending on scale and proximity to
everyday existential reality, are represented in
collective (class) consciousness.  While the obvious,
painful crisis of the working class and its social
allies in peripheral and semi-peripheral states is
rarely directly manifest in everyday life for the
imperial bourgeoisie, it comes back in distorted,
non-transparent forms, and surely this is the very
meaning of 'blowback'.  Where did Lenin say: 'politics
is the concentrated expression of economics'?   


Jurriaan Bendien wrote: 
> I think that when Ticktin opposes "economism" he
> means that the "economic
> crisis" is only a crisis for the working classes,
> the unemployed and the
> poor. But there is no economic crisis, for those
> with plenty of capital.
> That is, economism presents a crisis picture, which
> abstracts from the
> different situations of different social classes.
> If you were to do a careful, rigorously systematic
> quantitative analysis of
> the international economic data, then you would
> easily see that there exists
> a plethora of capital in the world, in that sense, a
> capitalist crisis
> simply does not exist at all, that is just middle
> class anxiety. Thus, the
> total value and volume of world trade in price
> terms, exceeds the value of
> world GDP in price terms by many times (GDP refers
> only to the value added
> within the sphere of production). The total value of
> securities and
> financial derivatives etc. in price terms exceeds
> the value of world GDP in
> price terms by many times. 
> A global financial circuit has therefore developed,
> which is semi-autonomous
> from what happens in production, but feeds on it.
> This makes it possible to
> get filthy rich today, on the basis of claims
> against production that will
> occur sometime in the future. Thus, a larger and
> larger portion of capital
> is not utilised very much in expanding production,
> rather it is tied up in
> trade, financial activity, securities, real estate
> and that sort of thing.

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