Waistline2 at Waistline2 at
Wed Sep 17 05:40:22 MDT 2003

>I'll explain myself.  I stick to a strict interpretation of the term
"capitalist production."  By that, I mean the production of surplus value in
the context of M-C{LP,MP}...P...C'-M'.  I think this is what Marx means.  This
is absolutely predominant in our times, in the sense that most value (and
output) currently produced in the world is produced this way.  In this case,
production is not only production of value (i.e., commodity production) but also
the direct and immediate production of surplus value. In this setting, the
surplus labor exploited turns out a surplus product that is directly and
immediately surplus value.  It presupposes the generalization of commodity production
and exchange, i.e., existence of a
market of sufficient size, including a market for free wage labor power.<


We agree that plantation slavery was a value producing system, employing
slaves to produce commodities, within an overall environment whose property
relations were bourgeois (not industrial) as opposed to feudal. It seems we also
agree that the five million slaves and free blacks, riveted to the plantation
system, were also a market for the North as it passed from manufacture to

I agree that this "peculiar institution" in the South - resting on the use of
slave labor, did not conform to most definitions of "capitalism," and in the
past have been mistaken and characterized as a system of primitive
accumulation of capital.

>From my standpoint this means solving over 50% of a series of "history
problems" faced by Marxists in America. The mistaken characterization of the
peculiar institution was layered with mistaken notions of the revolutionary process
in America. The current stage of the social revolution is coming into view for
many revolutionaries and past doctrine and static formula will not help.

The permanence of the crisis of overproduction - written about mostly by DMS,
means the unraveling of the value form and with it the need to shatter the
historic commodity form of the social product. In my opinion Henry C.K. Liu's
article, "The Global Economy in Transition" summarizes the moment from the
standpoint capital accumulation in the form of money; not simply the excess capital
that is the face of overproduction and the domination of the speculator over
the world total social capital, but reveals the antagonism that destroys
money/capital as capital. "The Global Economy in Transition" is worth reading. One
class conscious investor/banker is worth a thousand ideological Marxists.

Just got word in from my older brother while typing this - on his way to
finalize the new autoworkers contract, that no less than seven Chrysler plants
will be closed. I knew that four were slated to be closed like McGraw Glass, New
Castle, a plant in New York - I forget the other right off the bat, but seven
is off the hook. This is just at Chrysler, Ford plans on closing at least five
plants and the folks at General Motors have been very tight lipped. The day
when folks called General Motors "Generous Motors" is long over. It seem that
auto sales in America peaked at a little over 17 million a year. My brother
sent me a brief message on line saying, "this is the demise of the UAW."

Brother, for the first time in American history we have entered an era of the
class struggle as described by Marx. My interest in the entire discussion
concerning American history is very political and designed to get less
experienced comrades out of the path of engagement between classes and isolate the
reactionary section of "socialism."  The "political middle" is facing collapse as
the workers in America are forced to bit the bullet. Little by little sides are
being taken. The change quakes are intensifying.


Melvin P.

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