Re: [OPE] The Crisis of the Euro

From: Gerald Levy <>
Date: Fri Jan 23 2009 - 09:47:43 EST

> Well, what appears as beneficial to individual capitalists may be detrimental to accumulation of real capital --- and thus capitalist relations of productions --- in the long-run.

Hi Dave:

Well, I can't argue with that - because its too general. So, let's turn to a more specific claim:

> A capitalist firm and its owners may grow rich by selling the service of private guards to the rest of the capitalist class. That may also help maintain the social order, but
> "The protection, security, and defence of the commonwealth, the effect of their labour this year, will not purchase its protection, security, and defence for the year to come."

The quote ignores the fact that much of the "protection, security, and defense" labor
produces means of production which retain a use-value over a longer period of time. So,
actually it is a false claim: the labor employed this year on those activities can purchase
"protection, security, and defense for the year (and years, JL) to come".

Also, the labor employed this year can affect protection, security, and defense" for the years
to come if the state is successful in crushing its (domestic or international) opposition.
One shouldn't ignore the potential economic (and other) gains of military conquest. Nor should one
ignore the 'rent' which can be charged by one capitalist nation to "protect" others and how that can
affect the economy with the powerful military.

Put in the context of a world in which there are multinational corporations, the monies spent on
"maintaining the social order" can increase social and political "stability" which is one of the criteria
which investors look at before they invest their money in a particular nation. [Consider the effect of the
Pinochet coup on the accumulation of capital in Chile after 1973.]

> As a mere consumer of the surplus product, the long-run effect of such activities is detrimental to the
> development of capitalism.

The state also has expenditures on transportation, education, communication, public health, etc.
Are these also over the long-run "detrimental" to the development of capitalism? I think it would be
more accurate to say that over the long-term these exprnditures not only assist capitalist
development but come to be viewed - when placed in an international context - as necessary.
If one capitalist nation spends state funds on developing an efficient transportation system and
another doesn't, which capitalist nation over the long-term has the competitive advantage? I think
the answer is pretty clear - even though over the *short-term* such expenditures might result
in less accumulation.

In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Fri Jan 23 09:50:34 2009

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