From: paul cockshott (clyder@GN.APC.ORG)
Date: Fri Dec 19 2003 - 04:34:55 EST
Rakesh: As for inflationary monetary policy, it may well reignite accumulation as a result of a higher rate of exploitation-- wages lag behind the general price level (see Mattick on Samuelson, 1981). But again a rising rate of exploitation cannot always neutralize FROP from rising OCC. Paul: Keynesian policies worked for 30 years then new contradictions associated as you suggest with the falling rate of profit meant that prohibitive rates of inflation were required to sustain accumulation in the face of low rates of profit. The next stage of reformism would have been to see a progressive shift from private capital to state capital, with the state directing investment. This would have been a progressive restructuring in the context of the crisis of the 1970s just as the new deal was progressive in the 30s. To have achieved the progressive restructuring an appropriate political balance of forces was required. I know that in the UK the left of social democracy associated with Tony Benn had some approximation to such a policy (The alternative economic strategy ). I had considerable misgivings about the details of their policy but the crucial point was that it addressed historically necessary problems. As it turned out the social democratic left lost out in the political struggle here, where the crisis of profitability was more severe than in other capitalist countries. This opened the way for the neo-liberal restructuring carried out in the 80s. But my point is that a theory of political economy should not be judged on whether it is revolutionary or reformist. It should be judged on its ability to identify causal mechanisms and identify possible courses of action. The issue of reform or revolution is not posed at this level, it is posed at the level of the military coercive conjuncture. In a restructuring crisis the first issue is whether what happens is progress or regress in terms of social relations. In either case this progress or regress may be by peaceful means or by revolutionary/counter-revolutionary means, but the issues involved here are not basically economic. By the way you seriously misrepresent Kalecki by presenting him as a left populariser of Keynes, his theory actually came out before Keynes and its theoretical roots are clearly in Marx and Luxembourg.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Dec 20 2003 - 00:00:01 EST