Re: (OPE-L) Re: From Ian Wright on Weeks and Simple Commodity Production

From: Paul Bullock (paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK)
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 08:19:07 EDT


no doubt capital is exported to 'breed' all the better off of the more effectively exploited, but this movement does not, it seems to me, present us with an eventual exhaustion of the reserve army since, capital will constantly try to overcome such a barrier anywhere by the replacement of labour by constant capital. The rise in the organic composition of capital will lead to a crisis of profits, a social crisis, not the roadblock of  a shortage of labour. As capital accumulates the rate of profit will fall tendentially whether of not there is a shortage of labour. The depression of the wages of labour by the lever of unemployment is a counteracting tendency. If that particular counteracting force is weakened then the tendency rptf simply becomes 'undisguised' and hits 'home'. The crisis of capital is an imminent reality arising from its particular systemic contradiction ( social production on a private basis), its end will stem from a social revolt of both employed and unemployed, not the creation of global full employment!

Paul Bullock
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Paul Cockshott 
  Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 10:26 AM
  Subject: Re: (OPE-L) Re: From Ian Wright on Weeks and Simple Commodity Production

  Paul Bullock wrote: 
     Paul, I thought that capital accumulation created a reserve army, whilst periodical crises reestablished the relation between capital and labour. Your view seems to be a long run Smithian idea.  paul bullock
  The latent reserve army is created by the percolation of 
  capitalist relations of production into the peasantry and 
  artisanal population. 
  Once these are fully proletarianised you have a totally 
  different social formation and quite different dynamics. 

  The law of the tendancy of the rate of profit to fall does 
  not really come into effect until the proletarian population 

  The ability of the neo-liberal governments in Britain and 
  the US to depress the share of national income going to the 
  working class has been contingent upon the opening up 
  of capital movement to areas of the world where large 
  latent reserve armies exist.  Consider the change in the 
  relative position of the contending classes in the absence 
  of this possibility, and you will see a vision of the world 
  in 2050. 

      ----- Original Message -----
      From:Paul Cockshott
      Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 3:17 PM
      Subject: Re: (OPE-L) Re: From Ian Wright on Weeks and Simple Commodity Production
       gerald_a_levy wrote: 
        Paul C wrote on  Tuesday, May 20: > It (Capitalism, JL) is inherently a transitory mode 
        > of production that can only persist so long as it is surrounded 
        > by pre-capitalist production. *Why* can't capitalism persist after the disappearance ofpre-capitalist production?In solidarity, Jerry
      My hypothesis, based mainly on the history of British capitalism, the 
      historical lead example is that once the latent reserve army of labour, 
      both internal and external is exhausted, then over accumulation of 
      capital occurs with the following effects: 
      1. Organic compositions tend to rise 

      2. Demand for a static or falling labour pool inhibits constrains 
          the production of surplus value 

      3. Inherent tendancies towards deflation set in in consequence which 
          can only be masked by monetary and fiscal intervention by the 

      4. As a consequence of factor 2, the social weight and influence of 
          the working class rises. 

      5. A combination of 3 and 4 lead to an increasing pressure to use 
          non-capitalist modes of accumulation - raising the issues of 
          social control of accumulation as live political issues. 

      This was the trajectory of first British and then other european 
      capitalisms up to the 1980s in the UK case and arguably up 
      to the present for other western european capitals. 

      Neo liberalism aims to get out of the contradictions by exploiting 
      the relative imaturity of capitalism in Asia, Latin America and 
      Africa to offset its maturity in Europe and North America. 
      This will work for a while, perhaps another 40 or 50 years, 
      but by the middle of the 21st century world capitalism will 
      be where British capitalism was at the middle of the 20th 
      century. The contradictions described above will then 
      seal its fate. 

Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125
Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125

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