>> >And there is no unity between them? That is undialectical. Marx knew well
>> >enough the need under bourgeois democracy to engage in the battle for
>> >reforms. Indeed Wages Price and Profit (which goes under a different name
>> >in the USA) is an argument reaffirming the importance of the working class
>> >fighting for its share of surplus value (strictly that its exploitation
>> >should not increase).

No such thing as "its share" or any given share between profit and wages,
it's all a question of the relationship of forces. The fact that the
capitalist system grinds to a halt if profit falls too much or disappears
doesn't make profits socially necessary or inevitable, and the fact that
capitalists get their goons to kill people to so this doesn't happen is
pure politics. And Marx doesn't argue for a maintenance of exploitation at
some normal "good" level, as the reformists would love to think he did. He
argues that the workers should feel no compunction whatever in fighting for
whatever share of their labour they can gouge back from its expropriators,
the larger the better.

>>True enough. But none of this supports your contention that there is a
>>unity between Marx and Keynes.
>> >This sounds like you are using Marx as a revered text for exegesis rather
>> >than as a guide to action.

Funny how people who can't see through commodity fetishism are always the
first to hurl the religion argument at Marxists! You'd almost think they
were against religion the way they carry on.

>>Tell me Chris: In what way does Marx's critique of political economy
>>serve you as a guide to action?

Easy one this -- it demonstrates clearly what has to be avoided at all
costs by people like reformists, ie a revolutionary once-for-all overturn
of society abolishing capitalism and its social relationships for good,
world-wide, and building the political force (the party) needed to do this.

>> >Capital is the private ownership of the means of production. It is a
>> >relationship. It is not sacks of gold or bundles of notes. If those sacks
>> >of gold and bundles of notes are managed in the interests of the working
>> >people as a whole, they are abolished as capital.
>>Capital is a social relationship which expresses itself as exchange
>>value. So capital can be, among other things, sacks of gold and bundles
>>of notes. Marx's most famous work, _Capital_, is devoted to explaining
>>how exchange value cannot be managed in the interests of working people.
>>The abolition of capital is also the abolition of the social
>>relationship based on exchange value.
>Capital is a social relationship mediated through the 'relationship' between

And, as Russ's later references to the hilarious Virtual Economy game let
us see, those who benefit from this fetishism not only fail completely to
grasp it, but utterly refuse to see beyond their own blindness. On this
"educational" site, economic theory is represented in the shallowest of
forms by Ricardo (plus Smith Malthus and Say) (classical and
neo-classical), Keynes (Keynesianism) and then Hayek and Friedman

There's a similar game in Sweden to teach people elementary corporate
finance. The profit's built in, nothing comes of nothing, and the only
thing missing is the military to shoot the socialists when they stop the
game and declare that profit comes from the exploitation of labour and that
the providers of that labour have decided to take control of its
expenditure and its product and its distribution for their own benefit.

Lew is actually not right when he claims Capital is about how exchange
value cannot be managed in the interests of working people. In exceptional
transitional cases it can (Preobrazhensky developed this in The New
Economics). The problem is that commodity production if it's predominant
forces the Law of Value on society as a blind regulator, so commodity
production is what tends to be inaccessible to management in the interests
of working people -- if left to itself and if not subordinated to a
democratically controlled state cooperative sector for a transitional
period. We shouldn't forget that commodity production is also impossible to
manage for the capitalists, despite the maunderings of the regulationists.
But although they can't manage it, they are fully able to guzzle the loot
it squirts in their direction from its poisoned gut until the day they
themselves are destroyed in its crazed and unpredictable lunging.

Anyway, social relationships can be managed in the interests of working
people, it's just a question of knowing where the things stop and people
start. The social relationships expressing themselves in self-reproducing
fetishized forms like commodities, capital and money need to be managed in
such a way that they are abolished and replaced by open, non-fetishizing
forms of human production and distribution.



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