[Marxism] There's no need for all this economic sadomasochism | David Graeber | Comment is free | The Guardian

guava tree theguavatree at gmail.com
Thu Apr 25 08:31:33 MDT 2013

I believe you're saying something fairly simple here, that for Graeber the
moral code of hard work to pay off a debt is a kind of prime mover of
history. This morality and all its concomitant public shaming conveniently
helps the elites to keep maximizing their interest and prevent a society of
default. -- Graeber's view of course would be opposed to a view where
the needs of capital are to self-reproduce, ie, the rate of profit and how
it relates to the interest rate, etc, etc- - the morality is wrapped up in
the needs of capital to turnover at a profit, but hardly determines it.

but your comment also made me think of what is maybe Marx's morality catch
22? that although he is a critic of bourgeois morality (which is tied to
this ethic of hard work among other things) and morality in general (as
perhaps an epiphenonmenon), his work and especially the early work of
Engles (and the work of most Marxists) is filled with a very strong
morality (blood sucking vampire capitalists exploiting workers, horrible
conditions of the workers in the jobs and in their homes, injuries)

So the Graeber point is a separate issue, we know that Marx spent a good
chunk of his career refocusing historical study to a material reality of
capital and its self-reproduction and recasting ideologies as in relation
to the ever changing material basis of social relations--- But Marx's
morality itself is still there and is treated as a "given", not least of
all due to the forcefulness of his rhetorical style.

is morality the wrong word for this, or do we need something more Hegelian?

or more provocatively, what is the basis of a morality against inequality?

On Monday, April 22, 2013, Andrew Pollack wrote:

> Notice also Graeber's heavy reliance on morality, which supposedly drives
> austerity programs and economic policy in general. (See Marx on Proudhon's
> morality-based economics and politics.)
> But then morality is the centerpiece of his whole (a)historical
> debt/currency schema.


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