US Workers: Despair behind downturn is all very real

Tue May 6 18:24:39 MDT 2003

>The criminal market manipulations of the financier class created a
displacement of labor. People not only left careers, students out of
high school moved into the sector, buying the over-heated hype.

There was no "new economics." There was no "paradigm shift." There was
no "new class." It was just a standard movement of capital -- with the
proceeds of the Wall Street IPO manipulations going to a select and
wealthy few, and the risk staying and fallout staying with those who
moved their lives around to react to what they were being told was a
change in western conditions.



Change is the hardest thing in the word to grasp but 'shift' happens and the
"shift" is hitting the fan. The formulation 'financier class' as opposed to
industrial class or industrial-financial or financial-industrial class or
financial bourgeoisie, is itself a striving to explain something "different."
 Describing the wave of Initial Pubic Offerings (IPO) of the 1990s, as a
"standard movement of capital," seems to me to mean a "standard movement of
capital," involving an unprecedented level of speculation - speculative
investment, designed to protect "a select and wealthy few."

This "unprecedented level of speculation" is made possible by the invention
and implementation of a technology that makes it possible to "get in and out"
of the market in a qualitatively new way as compared with say the 1950s.
Being able to move a mass of capital via computer technology instead of a
telephone voice system, in and of itself opens up new possibilities for
speculative activity. Whether this is merely a quantitative enhancement of
"the same old thing" with out any implications of a "shift" or qualitative
reconfiguration is worth considering.

Without question "speculation" has existed on one level or another for
millenniums. The question is not the existence of "speculation or speculative
activity" as investment in means of production. The quantitative and
qualitative dimension of change in the material power of production that
alters and changes speculative activity in the total social capital is worth
thinking about.

Stating, "it was just a standard movement of capital," - meaning the IPO's of
the 1990s is the proof that a paradigm shift in thinking is underway. A
paradigm shift implies a social movement to exceed the frameworks in which
something has been viewed in the past. To reposition social thinking - so to
speak, in examining a social process from another side or vantage point or
outside the historically accepted "grid of thinking," implies a paradigm
shift. If nothing has in fact undergone a qualitative reconfiguration what is
it that buttress the social (!!!) movement seeking to view something anew?

New classes are continuously formed as an inherent part of the process of
changes in the material power of production. The theoretical dilemma of this
proposition rivets on how one defines class. The fifty-year debate over
imbuing class with specificity - in this instance the attempt to define a
certain stratum of Soviet society - outside the general category of "ones
relationship to the means of production," is more proof of an ongoing
paradigm shift in social thinking.

You state very clearly that there is a "financier class" (without quotes) as
opposed to the general category called the capitalist class or the
bourgeoisie as a class. Why the paradigm shifts on your part? Is this
"financier class" - a concept that makes perfect sense to my understanding,
part of a larger class? If so then what is being stated is there exist "a
class within a class," which has a certain relationship in wealth creation.

I have merely advocated that the paradigm shift in thinking that allows one -
you, to conceive and speak of a "financier class" be applied to that section
of humanity called the working class and to the biological division of
humanity into genders - women as a class with stratification.

Change is very difficult to grasp because the material reality of life
changes and then social thinking catches up with the changing reality only to
be rendered obsolete by more continuous change. You, as is the case with all
of us, are caught on the horns of a dilemma - the ceaseless changes in

What is the problem we are trying to solve? Our problem is to try and
classIFY or establish a view identifying large groups of people in a way that
help us understand how they would move - behalf, under a given set of
circumstances. "Financier class" implies that an understanding of our society
requires more than the category called worker and capitalist. To give
practical leadership to the social movement we have to be concrete. This
means evolving a conception that allows us to see that the social struggle
spills over as contradictions between all the various groups of people that
are created and shaped as the result of our specific form of property
relations and development in the material power of production.

Some of these contradictions are historically evolved such as the women
question, and take a specific form such as having to objectively fight
against men as a biologically specific group occupying a certain position in
the system of production and political institutions. If it was possible for
women as women to overthrow property relations and attain equal and equitable
treatment - as defined by women, someone would have figured this out a long
time ago. There are of course contradictions dealing with nationality and the
color factor in history.

There has been a working class and a leisure class of people in society for a
very long time. Changes in how people are organized to use the existing state
of development of the material power of production alter the form and
character of laboring.  When we discuss classes and the concept of the "new
class" - which you uphold in your concept of  "the financier class," we have
to look concretely at what we are really talking about.

"(T)he financier class" is the capitalist class but expresses another "level"
of development of the mode of accumulation, indicating an internal shift
within the mode of accumulation. The "new class" is the working class -
proletarians, expressing another "level" of development of the mode of
production, indicating an internal shift within the material power of the
productive forces.

In my opinion you assembly all the primary features of the social process and
combine them in a way to block an understanding of what is slowly becoming
fairly obvious. "(T)he financier class" is called the speculative sector of
finance capital by some Marxist and this sector has gained hegemony of the
world total social capital. The main point is that classes are not simply
people working at the means of production and those who just own. They are
quite large groups of people who are created - generated, on the basis of
changes in the material power of the productive forces.

"(T)he financier class" is not the merchant capitalist or merchant capital of
the past, but at the least a qualitative reconfiguration of an aspect of
historically evolved capital. His "standard movement of capital" does not
resemble M-C-M to a tremendous degree but M-M-M.  Here is the form of the
antagonism expressed in the mode of accumulation as it is driven increasingly
away from its internal connection with the value producing system.

This form of antagonism can be witnessed in the emergence of a proletariat on
a world scale that is driven increasingly away from its internal connection
with the value producing system. What causes this breach is the revolution in
technology or in short-speak, "advanced robotics."

Proletaribotics unite? Sure, why not! - under the class domination of the
proletariat. Without question the proletariat - new class, has the most
interest in putting the robots (advanced robotics) to work on a planetary
scale and distribution of the primary socially needed products outside the
value relations - buying and selling based on the purchase of labor power.
Such a society would require a transition period where the power of privately
owned social capital - bourgeois property relations, is shattered and the
principle of socially necessary public property relations govern.

Past generations of communist and Marxist have called this transition period
the era of "the dictatorship of the proletariat." Do you suggest that a
reformulation is merited? Perhaps "the world rule of the Proletaribotics?"

The theoretical proposition stating that the primary classes that constitute
the basis of a social system of production are not free and cannot overthrow
the system becomes obvious. Something else must happen. An internal
development must take place within the system that unravels a given stage in
the development of the labor process and its corresponding mode of
accumulation. Society is compelled to leap forward. That is what happened
under the feudal system of landed property relations and that is what is
happening with the industrial system of production. The existence of the "the
financier class" expresses this concrete fact.


Melvin P.

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