[Marxism] Fwd: Conspiracy and the "Logic" of Capitalism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Mar 13 11:41:16 MST 2005

>"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and 
>diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, 
>or in some contrivance to raise prices."
>(Adam Smith)
>Even Adam Smith recognized that the core survival imperatives and 
>interests of capitalists under capitalism would often--or perhaps 
>inexorably--lead to varied conspiracies against the public (two or more 
>acting in concert to knowingly and calculatingly subvert, get around or 
>just plain break the same bourgeois law to which others are held) commonly 
>referred to as "nothing personal, just business..."
>Instead of running from the meaningless epithet "conspiracy theorist", 
>used to summarily dismiss rather than deal with given facts, pseudo-facts 
>and given arguments--often by those involved in the very conspiracies they 
>are summarily dismissing as non-existent--the left should take on and 
>expose real conspiracies that really exist (using the classic techniques 
>for exposing and breaking up real world conspiracies: surveillance, 
>infiltration, pressure from the outside to force revealing mistakes and 
>chaos on the inside, rolling-over or turning insiders and connecting the 
>dots) and, of course, not sign on to more ridiculous--if not emotionally 
>gratifying--"conspiracy theories" that can only impeach the credibility of 
>the messengers as well as the overall message: that there are indeed 
>capitalist-class-interest-based conspiracies in the real world all the 
>time. In a certain sense, capitalism is one gigantic conspiracy (involving 
>holding the masses to laws the capitalists routinely break or declare 
>themselves exempt from) composed of many sub and interrelated constituent 
>The core and interrelated capitalist imperatives--e.g. MAXIMIZATION OF 
>PRODUCTIVITY (max output/input or min input/output), EFFECTIVE 
>ACCUMULATION OF CAPITAL--give rise to derivative imperatives which give 
>rise to all sorts of primary and derivative conspiracies. Effective 
>competition is a necessary but not sufficient condition of realization of 
>maximum possible total profits, which is a necessary but not sufficient 
>condition of accumulation of capital, which is a necessary but not 
>sufficient condition of maximization of productivity, which is a necessary 
>but not sufficient condition of effective competition... Further the 
>imperative to maximize productivity and to reduce total costs of producing 
>given output for example, gives rise to derivative imperatives such as 
>union busting, outsourcing, imperial conquest of sources of cheap 
>labor/natural resources which give rise to various conspiracies (as 
>conspiracy is properly defined in language and bourgeois law) to break the 
>very bourgeois laws to which non-insiders and non-capitalists are 
>routinely held and held accountable.
>This approach, admittedly a bit teleological in its overall approach, 
>focuses on the "logic" of the overall system of capitalism rather than on 
>individuals--and their own personal proclivities--and the unfolding 
>vicissitudes, machinations and trajectories that flow from the core 
>imperatives, structures, power relations and institutions flowing 
>from/with the core--amd defining--logic of capitalism and the machinations 
>of the capitalists.
>Jim Craven

Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 

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