[OPE-L] Michael Heinrich and the new conception of the epoch

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Sat Jul 28 2007 - 13:08:45 EDT

Profit Without End. Capitalism is Just Getting Started

by Michael Heinrich

Debates concerning the "Socialism of the 21st Century" are experiencing an
upswing at the moment. However, this century will initially be rather one of
capitalism than socialism. Not because there is once more an economic
recovery. Prosperity and crisis alternate constantly in capitalism, but
behind this up-and-down process are tendencies towards an extension and
further development of capitalism, which is nowhere near its end.

We see in this article clearly the Marxist penchant for prophesy about "the
march of history", going beyond what the facts allow us to say (in reality,
we have hardly any reliable basis for usefully predicting social
developments beyond perhaps 5 or at the very most 10 years;  even forecasts
for population growth turn out to be inaccurate). In one way, it is a neat
simple summary of current Marxist perspectives. But in fact there is no
searching historical analysis behind it, and you might say it borders on
platitudinous impressionism. Any intelligent reader of newspapers and
magazines could conclude the same, without needing any specifically Marxist
or radical analysis at all. Suppose Heinrich is correct, what then is the
conclusion? That we should not "get our hopes up"? What does it tell us,
about what we can or cannot achieve in our lifetimes?

This is not Heinrich at his best, I think.


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