[OPE-L:3371] Re: accumulation of capital revisited

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Sat, 12 Oct 1996 06:34:33 -0700 (PDT)

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A reply to Jerry's ope-l 3369.

Jerry takes one symbol and 16 words from my long post (ope-l 3368), which
documented his double standard: "R (the cost of repressing the working class,
in the direct process of production and outside it)"

and instead of responding to the double standard issue, writes: "The cost of
repressing the working class outside of the production process, and indirectly
within the production process, is borne by the *state* -- the subject of which
has not been analyzed at this stage."

First, what does "this stage" mean? The state has certainly been analyzed
before. Second, firms directly pay at least some of the cost of repressing
the working class --- they hire, train, and pay foremen, give bribes to
spies, spend money to fight the certification of unions and to decertify
unions, pay for cameras and stuff to monitor the workers, pay for time clocks,
hire "Pinkertons," etc., etc. They would directly pay for more if the State
didn't, because R is absolutely necessary for capitalist production. And who
ultimately bears the *part* of repression costs that the State pays directly
is a separate issue having nothing to do with Jerry's double standard.

So my charge of a double standard on Jerry's part, amply documented in ope-l
3368, stands.

Jerry also writes: "I am going to have to put on my moderator hat:

"Your response to Paul C was way out-of-line. If you don't want to have a
serious discussion in good faith, please tell us so. If you persist in making
statements like the above, then others on the list will simply not want to
have discussions with you. That would be a most unfortunate development from
my perspective."

I respectfully submit that Jerry is far from being a disinterested party in
this matter, and therefore cannot adequately function as a moderator in the
true sense of the word.

As for the rest, it all depends on what one means by "a serious discussion in
good faith." I for one do not consider the practice of changing the subject
when one is in trouble to be an engagement in serious discussion. It may or
may not be in good faith. If, when the subject-changing is called to one's
attention, one acknowledges this and returns to the subject at hand, then,
yes, I think this shows the subject-changing was done in good faith. (This
may well be what Paul C. chooses to do, for instance. We don't yet know
whether or not *he* thought my response to him was an effort at serious
discussion in good faith.) Otherwise, I doubt it. I do consider efforts to
expose subject-changing to be part of serious discussion in good faith. The
bluntness that is needed to get the discussion back on the issues the parties
had been discussing may not conform to the etiquette of cocktail-party
chit-chat, but I do not consider the latter to be serious discussion.

If people don't want to have discussions with me, that is their right. There
could be many reasons for this. One might be that I am not discussing
seriously or in good faith. Another is that they don't want to have to stay
on the subject when they get in trouble, and/or resent having their
subject-changing brought to their (and everyone's) attention. Another is that
they would rather hold on to their preconceptions, views, etc. rather than
having them subjected to serious discussion.

Again, that is their right. I think it is also Jerry's legal right to remove
me from the list, and I also consider it to be the moral right of the majority
of ope-l to remove me. And one can conceivably persuade me that it is "way
out of line" to call attention to subject-changing in order to get the
discussion back on the issues. As yet, no one has done so.

It may be true that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

"I welcome every opinion based on scientific criticism. As to the prejudices
of so-called public opinion, to which I have never made concessions, now, as
ever, my maxim is that of the great Florentine:
'Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti.'" --- Karl Marx

Andrew Kliman