The Real Movement

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Tag: economic growth

Growth, Stagnation or Collapse: A short comment on Anwar Shaikh’s new book

Here is a quote from Anwar Shaikh in the lecture series based on his new book:

“Capitalism is a growing system. Any analysis of capitalism must build into it from the start that it is growing.”

Shaikh’s statement is really rather incomprehensible given what he says is his starting point for analysis of the capitalist mode of production: the framework provided by classical theorists and Keynes.

How can he claim to base his argument on the classical economists and Keynes when, contrary to both of those schools, he characterizes capitalism as a growing system? In Keynesian theory the system tends toward stagnation; while in classical theory, the mode of production tends toward conditions that must lead to collapse, a falling rate of profit. Read the rest of this entry »

International Labor Organization report on hours, wages, productivity (and the abolition of wage slavery)

The International Labor Organization’s report, “Working Time Around the World” (2007), demonstrates that the barbaric policy of the  capitalist class and fascist states of overworking their japans-suicide-salarymen-are-dying-for-work-1413283959935-crop_mobilerespective working classes to the point of physical exhaustion is a quite common practice in countries at all levels of economic development. Unlike economic reports written for domestic consumption in the advanced countries, the report confirms Marx’s observation on the relation between wage, productivity and hours of labor and points to reduction of hours of labor as the global path for accelerating the development of the productive forces and realizing the abolition of wage slavery in its entirety.

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Jaime Semprun rejects the Manifesto — hilarity ensues

semprun5In an essay written sometime around 2007, “Notes on the manifesto against labor”, the late Jaime Semprun critiqued wertkritik and discovered it was not up to the task because it embraces the most obsolete thesis of the Communist Manifesto: the reappropriation of the productive forces.

What I find interesting in Semprun’s argument is his opening:

“It would seem to be granting too much credit to technological modernization to say that it has made labor “superfluous”. Without even considering the qualitative dimension of labor saving technology (what does “liberation” by machines cause us to lose?), it is quite doubtful that, in the quantitative sense, modernization makes labor obsolete and can only preserve it by increasingly artificial means (the central thesis of the Manifesto).”

This statement was formulated in a style that is typical of the approach taken by intellectuals to the problem of social emancipation. When did Marx say modernization makes labor superfluous? The term modernization is a signifier for a social process that implies a lot more than the mere introduction of machines into the labor process. Capital — a social relation between individuals — not technology or modernization, makes labor superfluous.

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