RE: [OPE] The Crisis of the Euro

Date: Thu Jan 22 2009 - 09:37:39 EST

> I think this brings out very clearly the fundamentally unproductive and parasitic nature of> the city of london and of the financial services 'industry' in general. It seems to show> that Smith and Marx were right about unproductive labour.
Hi Paul C and Paula:
Is that what it shows? Or does it show, rather, the vulnerabilities of individual capitalist
economies which are dependent on one or two major industries or sectors? These
vulnerabilities have long been known in less developed capitalist economies which, largely as
a consequence of the legacy of colonialism, specialized in a small number of economic activities
(e.g. 'one crop economies'). The UK, as an imperialist power, came to this condition
through a different historical route.
In any event, a fews additional comments are worth mentioning:
1. the claim by Jim Rogers is surely an exaggeration: the economy of the UK does
indeed produce commodities which can be sold. His exaggeration is a sign of the times:
just as capitalists in a time of growth and prosperity think that it will never end so
too in a crisis _their_ bubble is burst and they can see no end or hope (and it was for
that reason, among others, that we saw an increase in suicides among the
bourgeoisie during the 1930s).
2. From a Marxian perspective, ALL capitalists are parasites living off of the surplus
labor performed by wage-workers. The claim that bankers are parasitic reflects a
prejudice of other segments of the ruling class and, historically, the landowning class.
The landowning class (and, in some nations, the peasantry) similarly tended to conceive
of urban areas as parasitic. If banking capitalists receiving a large chunk of their profits
from other capitalists or the state rather than from directly exploiting workers, that
could cause them to be viewed as parasites by those other capitalists but from a
working-class perspective it seems to me that they are no better or worse than
capitalists in general.
3. A transfer of surplus value internationally can be a source of growth for an
individual capitalist nation even though and when there is no increase in
the global quantity of surplus value produced. Thus, the financial sector could
assist in the growth of individual capitalist nations to the same extent as an
industrial sector (?).
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Thu Jan 22 09:39:25 2009

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