Production, circulation, distribution and death - further addition

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Wed Sep 24 08:17:00 MDT 2003


I wrote:

in reality the argument is not about wealth creation "in general" at all, it
is only about wealth creation in the specific sense of "what activities
contribute directly to
appropriating the maximum private profits". This is a sectional class
perspective by the owners of private capital.

I should add:

A bourgeois might object to this, and say I mistake the motives and
intentions of the bourgeoisie. Now, I am fully aware that if you have
monopoly conditions in the marketplace with respect to supply or demand, and
you have a plethora of capital, then you can afford to be generous and
philanthropic. You can say, "I will price this good at such-and-such a
level" and this level may not result in maximum profits, but only strategic
profits. But in that case, the problem of maximum return on investment is
just displaced for a while, in geographic space or in historical time, we
are talking about a temporal-spatial distortion of the profit imperative.

We can fudge this distortion as well, by saying somebody is just a windy,
horny person, and this distortion exists only in his own head, but that is
an issue of class struggle as well. The rulers always seek to reduce the
search for an objective analysis of capitalism, and an alternative to that,
to a problem of mental illness or physiological illness by the ruled. You
must be satisfied with your lot, and not go beyond it, the only challenge
permitted is the challenge of how to make capitalism work better, because
capitalism is the best thing since sliced bread, whereas socialists only
talk about how the bread that the capitalists eat is produced by the
workers, omitting that the capitalists share their bread slices with the
workers and that Marxists are insane because they don't understand the good
life.

Conversely, the ruled seek to say "we are not mentally ill, we are talking
about social reality here". This was analysed by Franz Fanon and others, by
Thomas Szasz, and by authors writing on Soviet psychiatry.

The problem then is, how do we really know whether somebody is mentally ill
or not, and so the discussion about mental illness becomes a site of class
struggles as well. Unfortunately, Foucault's analysis of mental illness does
not incorporate the central conclusion of Althusser's recommendation to the
PCF in this regard, namely, "if you are a communist, don't forget about the
class struggle and its centrality in bourgeois society". The homosexual
Foucault himself died of AIDS.

J.





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