[Marxism] James Petras

Javier A javierunderground at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 19 23:10:51 MDT 2006

  abu hartal <abuhartal at hotmail.com> wrote:
  "An optimistic analysis. Perhaps Marxism is nothing at all as he suggests.
  But more to the Collapse Of Capitalism school than Petras recognizes.  Profit numbers are inflatedby accounting tricks. The rate at which the  rate of exploitationcan be raised will soon find its limit (each  further rise in productivity 
  raises s/v ever less--this is the basic mathematics of the theory of  surplus value).Moreover, profitability bolstered through debt clearly  has limits:
  houses can only be refinanced so many times, budget
  deficits cannot continue to grow as a percentage of GDP."
  I see Petras' focus on record corporate profits as a response to those,  like Brenner, who argue that the rate of profit is declining and  therfore US is  declining in its world position. It seems that the  counter argument that Panitch and Petras is making that the rate of  profit is being measured simply by manufacturing profits and not  banking finance. But to argue that US is heading towards financial  crisis seems to be based on partly US losing political legitmacy around  the world (Arrighi and Wallerstein).  If what your arguing is that  the current manipulation of markets will lead to a general financial  stagnation, which in turn will lead to crisis, it seems that your  making the assumption that the US is pushed in the corner of the ring,  or it doesn't have access to new markets and so it has to simply  manipulate the old ones. If this is the case, how would you prove that  bold assumption. And even if that is the case, how is not possible that  there could be
 a steady decline of US's world position? Especially  considering how US shapped how global capitalism would function during  and through the ashes of World War II, which led to the dominant and  manipulative role of the dollar in the world economy? US's structural  implantation in the world system could be a buffer and even a counter  to an apoclyptic collapse and so when its financial weaknesses  materialize, it can be expressed through a more gradual decline. 
  This is a topic I just started reading on, im not making any claims  that im an authority in this field, but very interested in learning  more on this topic. 
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