Re: [OPE-L] SV: [OPE-L] what is irrational in the functioning of capitalism?

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Wed Nov 29 2006 - 17:10:21 EST

>What am I called upon to explain?

Any elaboration of your criticism appreciated, Paul.

Well we know as you say that the capitalist participates in luxury
consumption. We also know that the capitalist will not accumulate if
it means that he must forgo luxury consumption as such. He may of
course restrain from overindulgence in order to make investments to
maintain over time a luxury fund or even to increase of the fund. But
the imperative of accumulation won't be allowed to diminish his fund
for luxury consumption in real terms over time.

Also there is the question of meaning. What meaning would ceaseless
accumulation by putatively peaceful means have for the capitalist if
his luxury consumption had to be sacrificed?  If it didn't have
meaning, why would he continue?

Also don't think Sombart's, Trigg's or my understanding of luxury
consumption  could  be accommodated in a neoclassical framework as
there is emphasis on class dynamics and surplus value. Also the point
of producing a commodity is not to satisfy its consumer, a la
neoclassical theory; the point is to produce surplus value so that
the capitalist can both consume and continue via investment   to
consume even more luxuries in the future. Don't see how this is
neoclassical or more importantly antithetical to Marx's theory. If
you could elaborate, that would be appreciated.

The difference here with a mythical feudalism is that the
perpetuation and enlarging of the capitalists' luxury consumption
depends on capital investments, production of commodities by means of
wage labour (broadly defined). That is, it depends on capital
investment to resume production and the valorization of that capital.


>--On Wednesday, November 29, 2006 11:46 AM -0800 Rakesh Bhandari
><bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU> wrote:
>>>Rakesh's conception below is a neoclassical, i.e., the drive for
>>>consumption drives economic activity.
>>Yes if you put it that way, Paul. I too struggled with what Andrew
>>Trigg is saying but think there is something important to his
>>   Note I'm not talking about just anyone's consumption and
>>   just any consumption. The luxury consumption of the possessing class
>>out of the surplus value from the valorization of capital. That's the
>>motive of Mr. Moneybags,
>>not the accumulation of capital as an end in itself.
>>Don't see why this is neo classical or feudal.
>>Please explain.
>>>  Marx's conception is that luxury
>>>consumption is basic to simple reproduction, but not to accumulation of
>>>Luxury consumption is the drive of the feudal lord.  Of course, the
>>>capitalist also participates in it.
>>>Paul Z.
>>>--On Tuesday, November 28, 2006 11:43 PM -0800 Rakesh Bhandari
>>><bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU> wrote:
>>>>All his [capitalists] spending--on luxuries today and in capital
>>>>motivated by the pursuit of luxury.
>>>** THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11-2001   --"a benchmark in 9/11 research",
>>>review Volume 23 (2006), RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, P.Zarembka, ed.,
>>>Elsevier ***********************
>THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11-2001   --"a benchmark in 9/11 research", review
>Volume 23 (2006), RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, P.Zarembka, ed., Elsevier

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