Re Peter Grimes interview on Indymedia/Marxists economy
dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Thu Nov 6 11:28:14 MST 2003
I thank Brother Melvin for his amplification and deepening of the real issues at hand;
and it does seem to me that the real issues are all about in Melvin's words
"the ABC of Marxism." By that I do not mean a formula approach, but rather that
the categories Marx applied to his analysis of capital-- exchange value, use value,
profit, accumulation, surplus, relation of constant and variable capital, categories
that are simultaneously concrete and abstract, simultaneously applied concretely
and abstractly, are in fact THE categories to explain the actions of capital and
Actually, I think we can even make that more condense, it's all about the distinction
the contradiction between use value and exchange value, and if we cannot locate
the predicament of capital, and its sectors-- oil, semiconduct0ors, steel, with those
tools then I am dead serious in asking anyone and everyone "Why are you a
Marxist?" Capital was not an academic exercise or an encyclopedia. It was and
is, truly, the basis for development of revolutionary critique, strategy-- for class
consciousness.... at least that's how I read it, in the concrete.
To say it, Marx's categories, do not apply to oil is a little bit like saying to Einstein,
"come on Albert, can't we make an exception about the speed of light in the uni-
verse, just this one time?"
A couple of other comments that I think are warranted. Louis disagreed with my
point and asserted that the bourgeoisie are quite capable of thinking geo-politically
and acting in their own long term class interests.
I think that is patently mistaken. First long term interests really not that
long term when it comes to capital. Secondly, whatever long term or"en-
lightened " interests might exist, they are nothing when confronted with the
immediacy, the short-term, of a lack of profit. Look at the current admini-
stration. Is it in the long term interest of the US to rupture relations with Europe?
Or is the rupture a result of the needs of profit and property. The long term
interests of an enlightened capitalism would have dictated against the invasion
and occupation of Iraq, and the cooptation of Hussein, certainly as today's
papers prove, within the immediate grasp of capital fefore March 20.
Long term interests are a product of the same forces that work towards their
elimination: the accumulation of capital.
On another point Jon asks "who cares what the geologists politics are." And argues that
I am conflating their political orientation with their "hard science." But I am not.
THEY, the Hubbertists are, as their politics and social policies, are explicitly the
product of their "science," just as Malthus' was the product of his; just as the
sterilization laws were a product of those "scientists;" just as Zyklon B gas was
a product of hard science. They, the scientists, use their findings to argue
for devaluing living standards, reducing prospects for human development, not
just here, but everywhere. We have to accept that co-joined unity of this supposed
science and reactionary politics in order to comprehend the historic function
that scarcity theories play in maintaining the existing order.
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