Re: [OPE] free competition

From: Jurriaan Bendien <>
Date: Mon Apr 11 2011 - 05:38:09 EDT

I agree the "freedom" which markets can offer can be vastly overstated for ideological purposes. A sectional interest can be represented as the general interest.

Yet as Marx - after Hegel - already recognized, it doesn't mean that market freedom doesn't exist altogether. It means rather that the *contradictions* in that freedom have to be *theorized*, i.e. how the same conditions can be liberating or oppressive in different contexts. This contrasts with banale slogans. Supposing that the liberating potential of markets was nil, it would be difficult to explain why people participate in markets at all, why they think they gain more than they lose from market-trade.

This theory has as its point of departure, the dialectical insight that competition and cooperation occur throughout the history of civil society; but that their modalities and combinations vary greatly. This makes it possible, to distinguish between "healthy" and "unhealthy" forms of competition and cooperation, or of combinations of the two; and it makes it possible to go beyond mere slogans about "freedom" etc.

The New Marxist Exploiting Class however is anti-market, and denies that markets can offer any freedom; there is nothing progressive about money, except that they like to buy their luxuries in special shops for the privileged. That is because these Marxist oppressors aim to conquer state power, in order to rule over the workers and extract a surplus from the workers in the form of taxes, tributes and hereditary privileges. Their "social engineering" dream is to regulate and control the whole of society and engineer the "new human being".

The weakness of the Marxist exploiting class is, that it doesn't really have any organizational solutions of its own, other than the use of force and moral appeals, and thus, its parasitic "academic" managerialism is based on quicksand (it can live only by appropriating and exploiting the creativity of others). Everywhere, the Marxist-Leninist empires have collapsed, or are collapsing. The ghoulish spirit of Marxist despotism claws around in a wild, desparate frenzy for fresh material to exploit, but it is dying.

American ideology is the petit-bourgeois propaganda of freedom. It does not mean though that Americans actually have freedom. There is more liberty and equality in Western Europe and Australasia than there is in the United States. In America, you have freedom, only when you are rich. This does not mean though that progressive thought should deny the aspiration for freedom, as a "deformed libertarianism". That aspiration is a powerful impulse for progressive social change.


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Received on Mon Apr 11 05:39:10 2011

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