[Marxism] LRB review of Sperber bio of Karl Marx

Matthew Russo russo.matthew9 at gmail.com
Fri May 17 00:00:15 MDT 2013


Lame, pedestrian pieces of logic stand out:

" His assumption that there was no contradiction between revolution and
reform
would be proved wrong in the years after his death"

and this whole passage is a totally ignorant POS:

"Marx?s later economic writings also complicated the Communist
Manifesto?s bipolar account of class relations between bourgeoisie and
proletariat by devoting considerable attention to landowners and
agriculture, and by grappling with Malthus?s dire prediction that
population growth would outpace the land?s ability to sustain it. At a
time when agriculture in Europe was rapidly decreasing in size and
importance [Matt: but not in the US and Russia!], this too belonged to
a ?backward-looking economics?. Marx had little good to say about the
service sector, whose expansion would
be a central feature of 20th-century economies (?From the whore to the
pope, there is a mass of such scum,? was one of his more choice
remarks). When his economic theories finally aroused public discussion,
thanks to Engels?s posthumous publication of his manuscripts, ?most
economists were living in a completely different intellectual world from
the one Marx had inhabited.? The Austrian economist Eugen von
B?hm-Bawerk briskly dismissed his labour theory of value by pointing out
that prices and values are determined by market forces and consumer
preferences, not by labour time."

Marx has a lot to say about the "relative surplus population" at the end of
Vol I of Capital, of which the low wage service sector wage slaves of
Walmart and fast food belong to, to only name a few of the obvious.  This
relative surplus population is now an enormous percentage of the total
workforce, but is nevertheless required to go through the charade of
selling their capacity to labor for wages, despite not contributing to the
valorization process that now only requires a small percentage of the total
laboring population, as their labor power is not required for the
accumulation of capital.  This neatly expresses the domination of the
social relations of the valorization process over the whole of society
despite the fact that few are actively involved in it. And *that* is the
problem, dear nitwit reviewer.

This outcome Marx predicted 144 years ago.

-Matt



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