[Marxism] Re: State capitalism -- addition

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Thu Dec 16 19:17:56 MST 2004

Sorry, I hit the send button too soon.

I wrote about technical education, but of course you might say that's not a
"social" or "welfare" program. 

But one reason we have a  health system is because employers need workers
to remain able to work efficiently. Marx explains the higher wages paid to
skilled workers in terms of the extra labour that goes into producing and
reproducing labour power. Which includes the social wage.

It's true that some social programs are set up in response to unrest, but
unrest was hardly unheard of in the easern block. Welfare was/is partly
about avoiding unrest, east and west, but partly also about keeping a
reserve army of labour able to work when needed. And about sustaining the
family (Stalin loved the family) to reproduce labour power.

The attacks on the welfare state began before the collapse of the USSR. It
began here as early as 1975. But despite these attacks, the "social wage"
remains huge today, long after the demise of the USSR. In Australia, for
example, they privatised most of welfare. But that doesn't mean they don't
spend money on it.

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