Re: [OPE] free competition

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Tue Apr 12 2011 - 21:35:10 EDT

This quotation from Karl Polanyi can provide some back-up to Paula’s argument:  «Neither the crude egotism, nor the apocryphal propensity to barter, truck, and exchange, nor even the tendency to cater to one’s self was in evidence. But equally discredited was the legend of the communistic psychology of the savage, his supposed lack of appreciation for his own personal interests (Roughly, it appeared that man was very much the same all through the ages. Taking his institutions not in isolation, but in their interrelation, he was mostly found to be behaving in a manner broadly comprehensible to us). What appeared as “communism” was the fact that the productive or economic system was usually arranged in such a fashion as not to threaten any individual with starvation. His place at the camp fire, his share in the common resources, was secure to him, whatever part he happened to have played in hunt, pasture, tillage, or gardening.» (pp. 112) Karl Polanyi, “Our Obsolete Market Mentality: Civilization Must Find a New Thought Pattern”, Commentary, 3 (1947). A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: Paula <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: mar,12 abril, 2011 23:42 Asunto: Re: [OPE] free competition When people think in absolutist, either/or ways, they quickly come to absurd conclusions, such as that "free competition is an ideological construct". Freedom (political or economic) is not an either/or entity; it exists in different forms and to different degrees, in multiple contradictory relations, etc. There's no such thing as absolute freedom, absolute monopoly - or absolute capitalism, for that matter. So Marx was quite right to note that "monopoly produces competition, competition produces monopoly". And Lenin was thinking in the same dialectical way when he saw that imperialism, the epoch of monopoly capitalism, is an epoch of enhanced competition. My point is that it isn't only the 'Western' states that take part in that competition, but also the non-Western ones - India, Brazil, Turkey, China, Venezuela, etc. Those are therefore also imperialist states, in that sense. Paula _______________________________________________ ope mailing list

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