[Marxism] Paul LeBlanc: Why I Am Joining the ISO

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Fri Oct 30 11:41:48 MDT 2009


S. Artesian wrote:
> Sounds like an accusation to me-- I think it's that part about "building
> huge fantasies...that are little better than establishment econ"  that does
> it for me/

Well, there is a difference between saying an argument is a fantasy and
accusing the person who makes it of being a fantasis. We all fantasize
at times.

And I'm too damn old & too near blind to chyange my rhetoric much at
this time.

On FROP: There is a way to make _some_ sense of it in terms of Marx's
whole Critique, though it involves seeing it more as an image or
metaphor than as a useful tool of economic analysis.

There are several ways of 'catching' the basic contradiction in
capitalism, but one of the most important is to forumlate it as the
contradiction between abstract and concrete labor. (Note: Abstract labor
exists ONLY in capitalism, and it is a _real abstraction_, not merely a
mental construct. Only abstract labor creates value, while increasingly
the production of wealth (product of concret labor) is by science and
technology, not labor. Think of FROP as a metaphor for that essential
fact of capitalism. It is crucial because it identifies the historicity
of capitalism. 

Carrol





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