[Marxism] Barry Commoner, Pioneering Environmental Scientist and Activist, Dies at 95

Shane Mage shmage at pipeline.com
Mon Oct 1 11:16:26 MDT 2012

On Oct 1, 2012, at 11:35 AM, Louis Proyect wrote:

A fine appreciation.  But the final point is not quite accurate:
> Commoner reminded me a bit of Michael Moore in his new movie "The  
> Big One," who kept asking corporate spokesmen why they had to be so  
> greedy. "Look, you guys made 30 billion dollars in profit over the  
> past five years, so why are you closing down your American factories  
> and moving to Mexico? Why don't you do the right thing and keep  
> Americans employed?" The answer inevitably was that they had to  
> remain competitive. They, of course, are right. If an American  
> corporation can not produce a more favorable quarterly earnings  
> report than their competition, then the value of their stock will go  
> down. It is not a question of greed, it is a question of the  
> underlying behavior of a system based on profit. The profit motive  
> has to be eliminated completely if we are to survive. That is a big  
> pill to swallow for people like Moore or Commoner. But swallow it we  
> must.

Whether the "value" of a corporation's stock (its *fictitious*  
capital) goes up or down has no bearing at all on its profitability,  
not even in the long term--because a big corporation profitable enough  
to add to its capital is by definition able to do so out of retained  
earnings without even reducing its dividend.  Stock price matters to  
the parasites: finance capital and top management.  If those swindlers  
gain by making a corporation less profitable in reality--as by  
undermaintaining capital equipment or surreptitiously reducing product  
quality--that is what is done.  Once the long transition to communism  
begins with the establishment of worker control over state and  
society, markets involving private and cooperative enterprise will  
play a large part for a long time, and the "profit motive" will have a  
necessary, even crucial. role in their operation.

Shane Mage

"All things are an equal exchange for fire and fire for all things,
as goods are for gold and gold for goods."

Herakleitos of Ephesos, fr, 90

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