Re: [OPE] The Crisis of the Euro

From: paul bullock <>
Date: Thu Jan 22 2009 - 18:56:43 EST


your second point is especially important. The idea that 'productive' labour is somehow superior to 'unproductive ' labour is idiotic even from the bourgoise point of view, they know well enough that products have to be sold to become rich, and that the labour they employ for this '' the tellers and clerks"... are as exploited as their brothers and sisters in the manufacturing sector... The distinction is a scientific one, permitting the accurate understanding of the process of accumulation.

With respect to point three, I made the point to Paul C. that the export of armaments is essential to reconcile, nationally, the contradiction that production of items useless as inputs for further accumulation, saw the creation of surplus value. Globally this does not prevent capitalist consumption from restricting the growth of relative surplus value of course. Nevertheless the export of use values
has significant consequences for the expansion of accumulation, it is not simply a question of transfering surplus value.


paul b

----- Original Message -----
  To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
  Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2009 2:37 PM
  Subject: RE: [OPE] The Crisis of the Euro

> 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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