The Real Movement

Communism is free time and nothing else!

Tag: capitalist competition

Schrödinger’s Capital: What can the defunct Soviet Union tell us about value, exchange value, prices and money

NOTE 23: What can the Soviet-era rouble tell us about the inconvertible fiat dollar?

For one thing, it tells us that sometimes it is very difficult to look at a category like value in isolation and assess what about it is necessary and what is purely contingent.

To clarify what I mean, let me use two analogies, both drawn from evolution science:

At some point a feathered flying creature emerged that was no longer a dinosaur but not yet a bird. At another point an upright walking ape emerged who was no longer simply an ape, but not yet human. In either case, what we have learned by studying the fossil record is that the creatures were both specific forms of life and, at the same time, transitional forms to new forms of life.

We encounter a similar difficulty when trying to ascertain the significance of categories of capitalist society. Which of the phenomenon we observe are necessary and which are purely transitory expressions of the movement of society.

To show how this might be significant to the problem of value, exchange value, and money, it might help to do what Marx did: compare present society to social formations that had none of these categories.

Read the rest of this entry »

Debt Colony? Why communists must stop playing the nationalism card in Greece

I received this comment to my last post:

Jehu you only go halfway with your workers’ solution and end up with a peaceful parliamentary transition to socialism. German imperialism is recolonising and virtually occupying Greece to extract more surplus labour to raise its profits. It is using the Greek state to impose austerity backed by the police, the fascists, army and if necessary NATO. Workers cannot defend their power to control their labour time without taking state power and expropriating capital. To do this they must organise, occupy and arm themselves to defeat the fascists, the state forces and NATO. They need to be supported by the workers in the other PIIGS and in France, Britain and Germany. Greece can either capitulate to German colonisation or launch the workers revolution in Europe. There is no half-way house.

Several good points were raised by Dave Brown that require a full response:

First, I want to say I strenuously object to the “colonization” framing of this issue. This argument resonates both in Greece and elsewhere on the Left, but it is a fundamentally and openly fascistic framing of the problem. Greece was not forced to enter the euro common currency. It literally lied to get in the door. It voluntarily entered the European Union and the euro common currency on its own volition and with no credible evidence of force.

Read the rest of this entry »