[Marxism] Australia you’re standing in it part 1: the pulse rate of accumulation

dave at truffulatree.com.au dave at truffulatree.com.au
Mon Oct 19 22:59:34 MDT 2015

"Something is going on. Something is changing. There is a shift in the
trajectory that capitalism in Australia is taking. At the recent National
Reform Summit Martin Parkinson, a former head of Treasury remarked that
‘Unless we actually grab this challenge by the horns and really get
concrete about what are the priority issues, we are actually going to find
ourselves sleepwalking into a real mess’(Martin 2015). The metaphor of
Australia sleepwalking towards recession is now resonating in the echo
chamber of the political class and sums up their dual concerns: on the one
hand a decline in the accumulation of capital; and on the other that the
political apparatus and the broader society seems unable to do anything to
change course, perhaps is even aware, and is moving without, or despite of,
conscious control. Australia is slouching towards, or is already sunk in,
political and economic malfunction.

Whilst the political class wants to address these dilemmas and act to save
capitalism from itself we want to understand what is going on so we can
overcome it all. Here I want to grasp the current conjuncture of capitalist
society in Australia: in particular the current malaise of capital
accumulation and the malfunctioning of official politics. What do these
phenomena tell us about the current moment in Australian capitalism and the
possibilities, overt or covert, for a radically different kind of society?

This is part one of a five party study to try to sketch an outline of the
current conjuncture of capitalism in Australia. Part two will focus on
debt, part three the crisis of mainstream politics, part four on the end of
the ‘high credit, high work, high consumption deal’, part five on
gender and social reproduction and part six on the most prominent fault
lines of struggle. But here we will start by posing a hypothesis about
capital accumulation in Australia and also try to take its pulse-rate."


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