RE: [OPE] "Parasitism"

Date: Fri Jan 23 2009 - 17:43:03 EST

> According to Jerry, "From a Marxian perspective, ALL capitalists are parasites living off the surplus labor performed by wage-workers."
> But from Marx's own perspective this interpretation is false, both diachronically and synchronically.
Yes, I said that and it is true whether or not Marx also said it. So there.
Capitalists, like the ruling class in any class society, are parasitic in the sense
in which I wrote above: they either directly or indirectly live off of the surplus labor
performed by workers. It is, of course, true that the specific form of this relation
is different under capitalism than in other modes of production. It's also true that
some capitalists (such as banking capitalists) might be viewed as being more
indirectly parasitic (to the extent that the profit they receive is based in large part
on the exploitation of workers employed by other capitalists). But, this is
nonetheless a parasitic relation - whether you (or they) like the term or not. If it
wasn't parasitic then capitalists _as a class_ could exist without exploitation.
That is not the case. You might say, in response, that they give something to
workers rather than it just being a one-way street of extraction. Yet, the same could
be said in other pre-capitalist modes of production. The fact, for instance, that
slave owners provided slaves with food, clothing, and housing (which, of course,
were produced by slaves themselves) does not change the reality that slave owners
were parasitic.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Fri Jan 23 17:44:39 2009

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