Re: [OPE-L] what is irrational in the functioning of capitalism?

From: Dogan Goecmen (Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM)
Date: Mon Nov 27 2006 - 15:13:46 EST

"But the point is really this -  even if we note such things as  masses of
people starving while there is enough to eat for all, this does  not
necessarily make capitalism irrational. We can say at this point at  most
that the pursuit of commercial rationality has undesirable results."


But these "undesirable results" are foreseeable, because markets do not
allocate goods according to the needs. They allocate goods to those who can
afford to buy them. As a result capitalists destroy thousands and  thousands of
foods. In other words, they produce to sell but they destroy what  they produce
and cannot sell. Is this not dysfunctional to  capitalism?

"A social system becomes irrational only when its functioning becomes
dysfunctional to
itself, i.e. it is in reality unable to reproduce itself  anymore. Obviously
if people starve, this may in the given case make the  system dysfunctional
to itself, insofar as it can no longer reproduce itself.  But it may also be
the case, that the system continues to function quite  well, even although
masses of people starve."


I am not sure whether I would agree with what you say here. But then even  if
I accept your thesis I would say that capitalism is dysfunctional to itself.
Why? The aim of capitalism is to produce as many wage labourers as possible
and  put them on employment to exploit. This is the very rerason of the
existence of  capital. But according to the figures of ILO half of the work force of
the world  is unemployd. That is to say that though capital wants to exploit
them it cannot  because it excludes these people from any form of wage labour.
Is this not  dysfunctional to capitalism?

Warm regards


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