Re: [OPE-L] Keynes and Marx (German)

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Tue Jan 02 2007 - 11:34:13 EST

>  it is possible to argue
that the alliance you suggest was not directed against finance capital but
against the (revolutionary) socialist movement worldwide, at a time when
the USSR had defeated nazism and the communists in the countries occupied
by the Nazi army had been among the main forces that fought the invadors.
Communism all over the world and the Communist parties in many Western
European countries increased very significantly their political influence.
Thus, it was highly necessary for the capitalist class to coopt their
workers. <


1. Which Communist Parties could be considered to be revolutionary
socialist  after WW2?

> higher living standards (above the value of labour power) can only be
temporary and localized and do not eliminate exploitation, and in fact
relative surplus value must have increased strongly in the 'glorious' 25
year period, thanks to the rapid development of the productive forces that
you mention. <

2. The VLP can itself change over time and hence an increase in living
standards can be something more than just temporary and localized.

>  From a Marxist point of view
the workers should not fight to become less exploited slaves, they should
fight to free themselves from slavery. <

3. With all due respect, I think this is a sectarian formulation.  Of
course,  we should oppose the wages system.   However, we should also
support and participate in struggles for increased wages (and benefits,
by workers.  The "fight to free themselves from slavery"  does not fall from
the sky or result from proclamations which say "Socialist Revolution
Now!".    Before workers can develop revolutionary consciousness they
have to learn for themselves through their own struggles the meaning of
the current system.  If we say to workers "don't fight to become less
exploited" when they fight for higher wages, then we cut ourselves from
many workers' struggles today and thus become spectators from afar and
'above' in the arena of class conflict.

> full employment can only strengthen the position of labour against capital
in market terms, i.e., of the workers as sellers of labour power, but it
weakens the position of socialism against capitalism. If there is
employment for all, and higher standards of living, why fight capitalism? <

4. So, if there is full employment and rising living standards then the
prospects for socialism are nil?  Are you implicitly making some assumption
about the increasing 'decadence' of the capitalist system?

In solidarity, Jerry

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