[Marxism] A query from Ahmet Tonak

MM marxmail00 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 1 13:48:17 MDT 2015

On 01 Apr 2015, at 8:21 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> quoted Lars Lih as saying:

>> in those days, people thought advanced
>>    capitalism was moving toward a semi-planned economy

Has capitalism - in practice, not in theory - ever been anything else?

What differs among various visions of advanced capitalism is more the cover story than the reality. Capitalism without planning (and other interventions by the state, the latter construed broadly) wouldn’t last long at all, for brutally material reasons. In contrast, the durability of the covering lie of “free markets” - a covering lie that is itself a planned, ideological intervention - is determined by other constraints and forces - including, most importantly, the expansive pliability of human imagination.

That same imagination is at work in the fantasy of a decisive and visible break between “capitalism" and “socialism” - the fantasy of a “fateful day”, which provides only false comfort against the harsh necessity of constant, thankless struggle against every White Army of the future. It is the fantasy that makes necessary the prophetic intervention of the original alleged quotation: Don’t expect any magic, any deus ex machina, any revolutionary pivot of history. Not even /fundamental/ change will necessarily be sufficient.

Perhaps there will be no more fateful day than the day on which a critical mass of the world’s poor and oppressed realises that there is no fateful day, and that they must continue to struggle.

Lenin may not have said it, but he should have.

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