Re: [OPE-L] "Capitalism in crisis can only lengthen the working day" [!]

Date: Tue Sep 27 2005 - 23:35:31 EDT

On Tue, 27 Sep 2005 23:19:54 -0400
  Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM wrote:
>>That the working class is now in a defensive position vis-a-vis
>> longer and more intense working hours is not as obviously
>> incorrect as you are suggesting.
> Rakesh:
> I  didn't challenge the idea that the "working class is now in a
> more defensive position vis-a-vis longer and more intense
> working hours."  In fact, I didn't even mention more intense
> working hours.  Rather, I suggested that  that the assertion
> that  "capitalism in crisis"  can _only_ lengthen the working day
> _is_ obviously incorrect.

It's not obviously incorrect. Again see the Basso book. He looks carefully and critically
at the great exception to this empirical trend, the 35 hr work week in France.

> It is incorrect theoretically.

why? At at a late stage of accumulation, previous advances may be reversed, class struggle
only defensive vis a vis past material improvements. Surely you have read the conclusion to
Grossmann's book
and Kuhn's elucidation of it?

> It is incorrect historically.
It need not be a historical claim. It can be a claim as to the present trend of a late capitalism
a capitalism in crisis. It is an attempt to make sense of what are emerging as trends.

> It leads to incorrect political conclusions and praxis.

Again this is where you are wrong. You claimed initially that such a pessimistic view left no room
for class
struggle. This clearly does not follow from the theoretical claim that capital will NOW be
compelled to, and will have
the balance of forces necessary to,, lengthen and intensify the working day which however can be
attenuated by working class struggle.

Pessimism and the stating of uncomfortable truths are not undermining of class struggle but the
potential basis for its radicalization. Yaffe argued that long ago, so did Shaikh in his review of
crisis theories. These are not new positions, so I am surprised by your caricature of them.

I still do not see how you have substantiated your initial claim that theoretical pessisism is one
sided because
it leaves no room for class struggle.

This simply does not follow.

Please prove your point.


> Note (please) that I was responding directly to the article
> that I cited.
> In solidarity, Jerry

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