[Marxism] Re Changing class structure of the US, increased weight og the middle class

robert montgomery ilyenkova at gmail.com
Tue Nov 8 15:21:33 MST 2005

In an earlier post I wrote:
"David Harvey, G. Arrighi, the late Andre Gunder Frank, and others...
argue that capital accumulation in places like the US
has ceased being rooted in expanded reproduction (M-C [production of
value:c+v+s]-M1; M1>M) and is now mostly a simplified expansion of
monetary values (M-M1) where actual production and circulation of
materialized value is extremely secondary, if not irrelevant. The
explosion of new speculative instruments like derivatives, options of
all sorts etc. and the concomitant importance of debt and its
continual recycling are seen as evidence that the connection between
profit from production, and the accumulation and circulation of
fictitious capital has been broken."

For the record Andre Gunder Frank did not go this far:

"Moreover, to oversimplify a very complex matter into more
intelligible layperson's language, options, derivatives, swaps and
other recent financial instruments have been ever much further
compounding already compounded interest on the real properties in
which their stake and debts are based, which has contributed to the
spectacular growth of this financial world. Nonetheless, the financial
pyramid that we see in all its splendor and brilliance, especially in
its center at Uncle Sam's home, still sits on top of a real-world
producer-merchant-consumer base, even if the financial one also
provides credit for these real-world transactions."

As for Harvey, it's a matter interpretation; I think he does hold that
accumulation has become unlinked to production. An interview with
Harvey can be viewed at (part 4 is the key section):


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