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Harvard Business Review: The ‘liars can figure’ edition

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According to Justin Fox, a paid apologist for capital at the Harvard Business Review, the difference between the Great Recession and the Great Depression can be summarized in a single chart. Fox explains his perverse reasoning: “Basically, if you think this downturn was comparable in origin and inherent severity to the other recessions since World War II, then we’ve been …

JehuHarvard Business Review: The ‘liars can figure’ edition
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There is likely no exit from Quantitative Easing

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There is a lot of talk in policy circles and among speculators on Wall Street that the Federal Reserve will begin to ‘taper off’ its wholesale counterfeiting of fiat dollars before the end of the year. Whether or not this happens, I think any attempt to taper off counterfeiting dollars will have to be reversed in short order. The reason …

JehuThere is likely no exit from Quantitative Easing
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Facing Down A Gangster: Four measures a small country can take against the United States

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I’ve been brain-storming about what a small state can do in an era where the US clearly can dictate terms within the world market. This thinking has been triggered by such recent events as the complete humiliation of the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, in pursuit of the whistle-blower Edward Snowden; the coup in Egypt to overthrow the democratically elected …

JehuFacing Down A Gangster: Four measures a small country can take against the United States
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A Brief Sketch of the Political Economy of Barbarism

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So what is the political economy of barbarism (fascism) and can it be critiqued by labor theory? I would suggest this is very difficult, since the law of value no longer operates freely in such a mode of production. What we take as the real categories similar to the ones found in Marx’s Capital can be entirely misleading unless we …

JehuA Brief Sketch of the Political Economy of Barbarism
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Follow the money …

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Barbarism, Fascism or the American System I am still looking for a good formulation of the idea that Washington is using the dollar to control all capital in the world market. And it ain’t easy. I think the elements of the basic argument can be found in Anitra Nelson’s, Claus Germer’s and Suzanne de Brunhoff’s chapters in “Marx’s Theory of …

JehuFollow the money …
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The critical role of gold in labor theory (part 2)

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In the first part of this series, I make the following statements: The role of a commodity money in labor theory analysis is not determined by the material the state designates as money in the territory under its control, but by society. Gold (commodity monies generally) still performs the function of measure of value and standard of price despite this …

JehuThe critical role of gold in labor theory (part 2)
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The critical role of gold in labor theory analysis

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1. Was Marx fundamentally wrong in his theory of money Does the end of Bretton Woods and of the gold standard invalidate Marx’s argument on money? (When I say ‘gold’ in this case, of course, I mean any commodity serving in the role of money.) This is the question raised by George Caffentzis, in a 2009 paper, Marxism After the …

JehuThe critical role of gold in labor theory analysis
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Can We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now (Final)

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7. The Centrality of Labor in Marx At the start of this series I noted that, according to Elmar Flatschart, wertkritik states the abolition of labor is not the same as social emancipation. In his view, the abolition of value is only a condition of social emancipation, but social emancipation itself is a more complex problem. At first glance this …

JehuCan We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now (Final)
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What is the difference between Association and the State?

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Certain Marxists have their own weasel words to cover their statist inclination. Unless pressed to demonstrate it, they routinely refer to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (as one person stated to me) as “a ruling class’ instrument of the suppression of class enemies”. The employment of coercion against the capitalists, they assert, means the association of the working class is …

JehuWhat is the difference between Association and the State?
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Can Antistatist Communists work with Statist Communists?

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In one of my earlier posts, I accused some Marxists of being fascists. Needless to say this did not go over well with those Marxists who might fall into the category of people who, although claiming to be communists, nevertheless believe any attempt to actually dismantle the present state amounts to a neoliberal assault on the so-called ‘social safety net’ …

JehuCan Antistatist Communists work with Statist Communists?

Can We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now (Part 3)

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5. Capitalistically Determined, Materially Determined and Superfluous labor times If I understand Postone’s argument in his book Time, Labor and Social Domination, (and he can speak to this if I am misreading him) in the capitalist mode of production value (i.e., ‘socially necessary labor time’) appears in not one, but two distinct, historically determined forms. So far as I know, …

JehuCan We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now (Part 3)
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Can We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now? (Part 2)

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3. The problem of identifying economic waste in a capitalist economy As I argued in the previous section of this series, if we are going to set as our aim the complete abolition of labor, there is a big question posed by the problem of a capitalist economy. To reiterate it briefly: In an economy based on directly social labor, …

JehuCan We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now? (Part 2)
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You produce twice as much as your parents did, for one fifth of their wages

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I have already shown you this chart, which demonstrates that between 1964 and 2012, the nation’s labor force doubled. During the same time as the labor force doubled, I showed, hours of labor doubled as well: But this doubling of hours of labor only examines part of what has actually happened in the last fifty years. Not only has the …

JehuYou produce twice as much as your parents did, for one fifth of their wages
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The Coming Storm…

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Most of the stuff I read on Marxism today seems to miss a very significant point: The entire context of the debate has changed. These writings can be divided into two groups: Those who continue as if nothing has changed, and Those who state everything before was a failure. In the first group are the Leninists, soc-dems, assorted types, who …

JehuThe Coming Storm…
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Can We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now?

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In my previous post, I explained that the wertkritik school has come to a rather startling conclusion: “The abolition of value does not equal social emancipation”. The argument Postone, Kurz, Flatschart and others make with regard to the critique of value is not very complicated: Materially, socially necessary labor time can be reduced without a corresponding reduction in the quantity …

JehuCan We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now?
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Social Emancipation and Socially Necessary Labor Time

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At a recent conference sponsored by the Platypus group, Elmar Flatschart spoke of the most important abstraction existing in our society today, value, and stated: “Marxism shouldn’t be understood as an identity-giving, wholesome position, which history proved to be erroneous, but should be reduced to a theoretical core that can help us to understand society, via a negative critique, even …

JehuSocial Emancipation and Socially Necessary Labor Time

The Working Class is Moving Right, and the Left is to Blame

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Introduction In an attempt to build upon PunkJohnnyCash’s previous articles surrounding the anarchist alienation of the working class, its important to analyze the state of the working class today. In short, the condition of the working class is not preferable. Much of the working class has fallen into the trappings of neoliberalism and right-wing authoritarianism. In the United States, where …

Zak DrabczykThe Working Class is Moving Right, and the Left is to Blame
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Clever Monkey versus the Accelerationists (2)

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Part Two: (Nick) Land, Capital and Labor (Theory) Clever Monkey’s argument against the accelerationists seems to rest on a precise formulaic incantation repeated over and over: the only accelerationism possible is Nick Land’s accelerationism. Thus accelerationism itself is merely a virulent subform of neoliberalist ideology that advocates commodification of all human relations. Which is to say all talk of accelerationism …

JehuClever Monkey versus the Accelerationists (2)
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Clever Monkey versus the Accelerationists (1)

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Part One: The Grammar of Left Fascism Twice in the past couple of weeks I Have been accused of being infected with an ideology known as accelerationism. To be honest, I had no idea what accelerationism was and never heard of it until the accusation was made. Nevertheless, I do accept the argument that ignorance of an ideology is no …

JehuClever Monkey versus the Accelerationists (1)
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Keynesian Checkers versus Monetarist Three Dimensional Chess

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You can almost smell the frustration pouring off Paul Krugman these days, as he once again proclaims the latest in a series of victories of Keynesian economic theory over its monetarists opponents. Says Krugman: “Sorry, guys, but as a practical matter the Fed – while it should be doing more – can’t make up for contractionary fiscal policy in the …

JehuKeynesian Checkers versus Monetarist Three Dimensional Chess
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Reinhart-Rogoff and Austerity: It’s not the math that’s the problem

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After reading and commenting on David Graeber’s post at the Guardian, I feel it necessary to comment more broadly on the problem the euro-zone faces in the crisis, as well as the problem posed by the austerity regime being pursued by the member nation of the European Union. My point is to show that the errors of the bourgeois economists …

JehuReinhart-Rogoff and Austerity: It’s not the math that’s the problem
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A Few Words on David Graeber’s Guardian Article

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David Graeber’s article in the Guardian, There’s no need for all this economic sadomasochism, is very disturbing because in it he adopts the argument of the MMT fascists. I want to state this clearly, although I am generally supportive of his activist work with Occupy, I think he is way off on this idea. First he starts out by making …

JehuA Few Words on David Graeber’s Guardian Article
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My May Day Post: How Kautsky and Lenin Fundamentally Revised Marx

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Part One: “… the consciousness of the necessity of a fundamental revolution” In the Communist Manifesto, Marx writes: “Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views, and conception, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?” In this statement Marx …

JehuMy May Day Post: How Kautsky and Lenin Fundamentally Revised Marx
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Where the fuck is the ‘revolutionary subject’ in the European crisis? (2)

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Why the working class is not effectively defending itself actually is not a question posed by this crisis. Rather the question is: “So what else did you expect?” No matter how the working classes of Europe responded to this crisis politically, they were already effectively rendered politically defenseless before the crisis by the very structure of the euro-zone, which stripped …

JehuWhere the fuck is the ‘revolutionary subject’ in the European crisis? (2)
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Where the fuck is the ‘revolutionary subject’ in the European crisis?

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An interesting question from George Magnus of the banking giant UBS via Zero Hedge: “Why Are The European Streets Relatively Quiet?” To understand the background of Magnus’s question we have to go to 2010. At that time, the economist Michael Pettis predicted Europe would have three years or or so to impose its “labor restructuring” before all hell broke loose …

JehuWhere the fuck is the ‘revolutionary subject’ in the European crisis?