[Marxism] Let Us Be Terrible: Considerations on the Jacobin Club – The Brooklyn Rail

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Feb 19 07:10:20 MST 2020


(From 2016 but still relevant.)

Jacobin’s proposed demand for “full employment” would require, in fact, 
an extraordinary reinvigoration of the global capitalist economy, a 
sustained spike in economic growth and job-creation the scale of which 
would be well-nigh unprecedented. Rather than coming to terms with the 
forbidding landscape described by Summers, Carney, and Brenner, among 
others, the journal has appealed to entirely untenable scenarios. In a 
recent post on Jacobin entitled “When Wonks Attack,” J.W. Mason makes 
the extravagant claim that, according to “orthodox economic theory” and 
“every macroeconomics textbook,” the deep recession of the past eight 
years must necessarily produce, as if through the momentum of a pendulum 
swing, a “period of exceptionally strong growth.” According to Mason’s 
own back-of-the-envelope calculations, using the instruments put at his 
disposal by the regnant economic models, the next 
near-decade—coinciding, it goes without saying, with a two-term Sanders 
presidency—should bring an extraordinary resurgence of capitalist 
dynamism to the tune of 5% growth over the next eight years, and the 
addition of some three hundred thousand job per month. Such an outré 
appeal to “orthodoxy,” which requires actively bracketing, in a 
desperate Verneinung, empirical analyses generated across the political 
spectrum, is the moving sand on which even an apparently modest proposal 
of a return to tighter labor markets and rising wages—much less “full” 
employment—is premised.

full: https://brooklynrail.org/2016/04/field-notes/let-us-be-terrible



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