[OPE] Dialectics for the New Century

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@tiscali.nl)
Date: Tue Apr 15 2008 - 13:45:37 EDT


I don't know what issue of S&S it will be, you could ask David Laibman. The journal asked me to review this book, so I did it, I mean if they ask me, why not. As I said, I'm not a Marxist but I'm not fussed about writing for S&S. The referees had some comments and so I changed the storyline a weebit to accommodate them somewhat, and for the rest David Laibman edited it to reduce the words (I always get criticised for too many words, so I have to work on that). You can read how the text comes out here:


I suppose I could write a much longer article on the subject, but I am not really inclined to do it just now, and anyway I am a bit iffy about it, seen as my idea of a dialectical proof is a bit different from what most scholars think about it anyhow. I'm better off really writing my seven articles for refereed journals and I haven't done that yet either. I get a bit of ball-practice, as it were, on OPE-L, but for the serious stuff you actually have to sit down, knuckle under and do it until it is really finished. But as my back problem hasn't cleared up yet, even that is difficult to do, I get sore after I sit down too long. 

The FT ran an interesting article by Philip Stephens which said:

"will the slowdown turn into a slump? The answer is that we do not know."


Just think of it - with all the enormous technological and scientific know-how we have, and all our powers of prediction, we cannot actually predict whether there will be a slump! It is like, we live in a society but we haven't a clue about its future anyhow. Real hedge fund experts must be having a good laugh about this. In reality of course, if you examine the world economy, there is already a slump in a number of countries, i.e. negative real GDP growth, and for poor people, there is always a slump. 

It is just that from a Western point of view it doesn't count as a slump, it's just "failed states" or something like that. A real slump according to this view is the Triad economies going into reverse gear. My own hunch as far as punditry goes is a recession in the technical sense, but not a slump. No doubt there will be a slump in future, but it isn't an immediate prospect. I think this because of the quantitative proportions of all the key variables involved, but I can't prove that just now. I plan to improve my math more in future, but even with some basic math insight, that's the conclusion I have. From the point of view of the world economy, the more interesting phenomenon is how different countries end up trying to "credit squeeze" each other. This begins to reveal the real power relations in geopolitics more clearly, and thus, where people really stand. 


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