Re: [OPE] free competition

Date: Wed Apr 13 2011 - 10:21:45 EDT


Well, if you do a search at of the complete marx-engels archive
with the exact expression, you get 145 results. The first one that comes up
is from an 1848 pamphlet by Marx called "On the question of free trade".
Here he writes:

"Gentlemen! Do not allow yourself to be deluded by the abstract word *freedom*.
Whose freedom? It is not the freedom of one individual in relation to another,
but the freedom of capital to crush the worker."

Paula, I guess, would criticize Marx here for being "absolutist".

The next entry is from a speech by Marx in 1848 on Poland. His reference to
"free competition" is in reference to what is "now called communism in Sweden".

The next entry is from "Free Trade and the Chartists" (_Daily Tribune_ article;
August 25, 1852) in which he heaps scorn on the idea of free competition:

"their ['these champions of the British bourgeoisie', JL] last word is the *Bourgeois
Republic*, in which free competition rules supreme in all spheres of life;
in which there remains altogether that *minimum* only of government which
is indispensible for the administration, internally and externally, of the
common class interest and business of the Bourgeoisie; and where this minimum
\of government is as soberly, as economically organized as possible".

Note here that he is not saying in the above passage that free competition exists.
Note also that he employs the standard definition of free competition -
but with a highly critical twist. Note how he heaps scorn upon the ideology of
free competition]

Engels also heaps scorn at the idea of free competition but seems to suggest that
it historically existed. This may be for rhetorical purposes - i.e. to make the
claim that even if/when you had free competition it would lead to 'big industry'.

You, Jurriaan, have a lamentable tendency to make references to the conditions
of people you basically know nothing about. I am told, for instance that my
actions are "characteristic" of the "New Marxist Exploiting Class". Excuse
me for laughing. In your topsy-turvy world-view I am an exploiter! Yet, I am
a long-term contingent worker who has absolutely no job security, has no pension,
and is employed part-time. For my work (over 16 years) for OPE-L I have received
no compensation whatsoever (nor did I ask for or seek compensation) - although,
it has incurred expenses and a big investment of time on my part. It certainly
never got me a better job, wage increase, or promotion at work. In fact, the only
tangible benefit has been about about a half dozen books given to me by listmembers
over the years. At the two school where I currently teach (25 years at 1; 24 years
at another) never once did I receive a job promotion: indeed, if you adjust for
inflation my standard of living is less than what it was when I was an assembly
worker in the auto industry in the late 70s and early 80s. Certainly, there are
many, many hundreds of millions of workers globally who have it even worse than I
do - but I am NOT an exploiter. I am just a worker - like most of the others
in the so-called NMEC who you slur with this designation. I'm sure that your
talk about the "New Marxist Exploiting Class" will find support among
ultra-reactionary forces who wish to crush public unions - including unions
representing college faculty and professional staff - and purge colleges of
radicals, but is is frankly a laughable formulation which attacks
straw (wo)men and boogey Marxists rather than comprehending the actual conditions
of academics, Marxists included, in the capitalist world today. But, perhaps, you
CAN make it into a book. I lost track - how many books did you say on OPE-L that
you were writing over the years? Honestly, I lost count. Please let us know AFTER
one has actually been published.
In solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list
Received on Wed Apr 13 10:22:41 2011

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