[Marxism] James Petras
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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