[Marxism] What were capitalism's original economic imperatives.

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 2 11:52:54 MST 2005

I use the following model to develop the core and derivative imperatives 
(teleological logic) of capitalism.

Capitalists MUST attempt to MAXIMIZE/REALIZE TOTAL PROFITS as a necessary 
but not sufficient condition (having retained earnings and/or 
"creditworthiness") of ACCUMULATION OF CAPITAL (seen not only as 
accumulation of capital in the sense of capital as seen by bourgeois 
economics but also as expanded reproduction of the capital-labor relation 
as well as expanded reproduction of the requisite "soil"--institutions, 
values, myths, traditions etc--of capitalism)

Capitalists MUST attempt continual ACCUMULATION OF CAPITAL as a necessary 
but not sufficient condition of MAXIMIZATION OF PRODUCTIVITY (max $ value 
of output and minimization of total costs).

Capitalists MUST attempt continual MAXIMIZATION OF PRODUCTIVITY  as a 
necessary but not sufficient condition of EFFECTIVE COMPETITION (expanded 
market and asset shares--concentration and centralization--expanded market 
name and power; profitably increasing sales etc).

Capitalists MUST attempt continual EFFECTIVE COMPETITION as a necessary but 

These core imperatives give rise to derivative imperatives. For example, 
the core imperative to MAXIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY gives rise to derivative 
imperatives for union busting, racist/sexist divisions among workers, 
setting up dictatorships abroad and at home to enforce labor discipline and 
repression, socialization of costs/risks of capital accumulation while 
ensuring returns are increasingly privatized and centralized, removal of 
social safety nets to increase direct and opportunity costs of labor 
unemployment and relatively low productivity, outsourcing, vertical 
integration/disintegration, Taylorism and increasing monitoring/respression 
in workplace etc etc.

The imperative for continual ACCUMULATION OF CAPITAL gives rise to 
derivative imperatives for changes in tax codes favoring capital, changes 
in culture and education for indoctrinating masses that capitalism is the 
best and most eternal system, epochal changes in fundamental "social 
capital" of capitalism, legal changes in regulations being drafted by those 
who are supposed to be "regulated", increasing focus on cultures of 
narcissism and ultra-individualism, selective observance and recognition of 
international law and domestic law etc etc.

rise to derivative imperatives to expand or push credit availability/use 
among the masses as well as the imperative to reduce "loopholes" in 
bankruptcy laws allowing workers to escape mounting and unconscionable debt 
and usurious interest rates, legal changes in treatment of accounts 
receivables etc etc.

The imperative for EFFECTIVE COMPETITION gives rise to derivative 
imperatives for fraud, economic concentration/centralization, expanding 
foreign markets and effective infiltration/control of same, increasing 
influence of businesses in political institutions and elections, etc etc etc.

Add here your own list of derivative imperatives flowing from core 
imperatives of capitalism.

Jim C.

James M. Craven
Blackfoot Name: Omahkohkiaayo-i'poyi
Professor/Consultant,Economics;Business Division Chair
Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
Vancouver, WA. USA 98663
Tel: (360) 992-2283; Fax: (360) 992-2863
"The people who cast the votes decide nothing.
The people who count the votes decide everything."
Josef Stalin

Employer has no association with private/protected opinion



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