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A blog of Post-Capitalist critique in general, economic, philosophical and political analyses, Post-Capitalist poetry and prose, Post-Capitalist philology, book reviews, Postcapitalist news, interviews, praxis, art and much more! For the record, Davide Ferri is a Postcapitalist, who graduated with a B.A.Economics(Honours) degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, India. He currently lives and works in Mumbai.

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

A SHORT GUIDE TO CAPITALISM, ZEITGEIST, SOCIALISM AND "CAPITALISM WITH A HUMAN FACE" FOR OCCUPIERS

A SHORT GUIDE TO CAPITALISM, ZEITGEIST, SOCIALISM 
AND "CAPITALISM WITH A HUMAN FACE" FOR OCCUPIERS

Written by: Davide Ferri
B.A.Economics(Honours)
Shri Ram College of Commerce,
Delhi University, India
First published on: December 12, 2011



INDEX:
1.INTRODUCTION
2.CHARACTERISTICS OF CAPITALISM/COMMODITY PRODUCTION
3.CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL DEMOCRACY/KEYNESIANISM/REFORMIST CAPITALISM
4.DEMOCRATIC POSTCAPITALISM/ANTI-BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM
5.SOME REMARKS ON NEO-LIBERAL POLICIES
6.THE ZEITGEIST IDEOLOGY AND ITS PROBLEMS
7.APPENDIX TO THIS ARTICLE (for whomever wants to gain a greater knowledge of political economy)


[In the following video: bourgeois court philosopher Ayn Rand talking about the Arab-Israeli conflicts or, if you want, one of the most ignorant and arrogant intellectuals within the field of economics, philosophy and social theory, discussing with a rhetoric of burps and shouts]

Before coming to the article, I wish to premise that:

• Whomever doesn't give a fig about this article and wanna watch a cartoon may conveniently watch Karl Marx Vs Captain Capitalism


• Whomever wants to read about my stance on the Occupy Wall Street movement may conveniently read my article the political character of the Occupy Wall Street Movement


• Whomever wants to gain a greater knowledge about the big problems of USSR-style Communism may conveniently read my articles on Marxism-Leninism and the political problems of mainstream "Marxism"

• Whomever is interested to know more about a theory of Post-Capitalism may conveniently have a look at mine in my article/pamphlet on Needism (or Needist Communism)

• Whomever wants to know in specific terms about the (minor) philological/epistemological and (major) politico-economic problems of Stagism, again may conveniently read my article on the problems of Stagism and the question of Frontism
• Whomever is interested to know more about Capitalism may conveniently read my article/pamphlet MARX'S LABOUR THEORY OF VALUE AND THE HUMBUG OF LIBERAL ACCOUNTANCY (Davide Ferri)
• Whomever is interested to know more about the role of Anarchism within the Occupy movement may conveniently read my article on the potential and problems of Anarchism
---------------------------------------------------------------
[In the following video,  
Mubarak's investor-friendly police "chased" by the Egyptian people!]


INTRODUCTION

" The labourers can't exploit anybody..." (Shri Chandra) 

Dear Occupiers and non-Occupy people,


I hereby wish to shine a light on various possible doubts regarding very general notions on doctrines such as Capitalism, "enlightened Capitalism", the Zeitgeist movement Socialism, Social Democracy, Capitalism-with-a-human-face, parliamentarism, as well as various political economy dynamics of Capitalism. In all sincerity, I hope this very short article may appear as simple and concise for the reader.

In the last few months, surprisingly, I could notice online that many Occupy movement pages are frequently invaded by external posts revolving around freemasonry, "Monsanto Company",corruption within politics, lobbies, strange evil conspiracies and few other "liberal hitches".



[in the following video, Cecilio the Right-Winger sings against the Leftists: "Gimme a Leftist! Gimme a Leftist! That I go report him to the Police"]



Such general topics were deeply and passionately discussed; as if these aggregated hitches really represented "the central problem" of Capitalism...as if their abolition could really solve the whole problems that Commodity production has just set for all the citizens of America and Europe.
It is important to remark that freemasonry, "Monsanto" Inc. corruption and political lobbies, among other things, are e.g. only few problematic products of the Capitalistic elements of competition, ownership and profit. They are a mere effect of what all its rotten; not the cause of rottenness, which should be investigated and fought.
Capitalism is, first of all, production for profit, not production for the people.


[Bill Gates on "how to fix Capitalism" or, if you want, an anthropological example of a billionaire blathering about fancies like "If only your granma had the wheels...she'd be a cart!"].
Parliamentary politics alone — though it is very important as a tactical step ahead for the socio-economic benefit of the 99% — can by no means do away with the contradictions of Capital and Wage-Labour: the central point of the entire anti-capitalist question. It has its own structural limits and tactical advantages.


In fact, the Liberal law, for its very nature, always ends up playing the game of the Capitalist investors, who wish to maintain the inherent contradictions of Capitalism. The Liberal Law is completely innocuous and system-friendly.


Why? 


Because, as "Liberal" it a-priori legitimises Capitalism and therefore all the "legal" products of Capitalism, such as cyclical crises, capitalist exploitation, low wages, billionaires and unemployment; whilst de-legitimising the illegal ones such as animal ill-treatment and the crave for cannabis on the part of who all modern sociology may categorise as 'deviance'.
For the Liberal Law, it goes without saying, legal Capitalism is there to stay and illegal revolutions are there to be crushed.
Postcapitalist revolution - that activity aiming at dismantling Capital and Wage-Labour and asserting the development of labour as non-subjugated by ownership - is legally banned.
Yet political economy - from Mr Ricardo to Mr Marx - clearly shows that if you "capitalistically" own the means of production (capital) and end up getting a profit; you exploit labour — like an "owning" feudal lord — and also create the fertile bases, with your production accumulation, for cyclical inevitable crises, unemployment, pollution, inflation, pro-austerity governments, financial parasites, imperialist wars, low wages, various externalities  and so on and so forth.
What defines exploitation


Appropriation of labour on the part of the ownership class.
Human labour is the only factor behind use-value creation (value of needs satisfaction).
The owner does not add a fig to the value of one commodity:he merely appropriates a part of it

Do you wish to maintain labour appropriation for the sake of exploitative ownership?
If you do, one angry unemployed post-Capitalist would probably say unto you:
then why don't you call for the reintroduction of "owning feudal lord" too! 


With similar tones, controversial Anarchist J. Proudhon would say unto you: Property is theft!
I would be more relaxed and tell you that 
Human socially necessary labour — a concept I discuss in the appendix to this article and in my pamphlet on Marx's Labour Theory of Value — is the only source of value. Labour needs to be liberated from the plague of ownership in the most democratic way:
the Revolution of the 99%!
Exploitative ownership, as we previously disccuseddoes not add value; and also applies an acute pressure on wage-labour, whilst accumulating on its shoulders with all its non-human consequences. 

Here's to you brief general outline to make you understand the question better in political economy terms:

CHARACTERISTICS OF CAPITALISM/COMMODITY PRODUCTION:

[In the following video, Bourgeois court philosopher Milton Friedman "on Minimum Wages" suggesting that reformism cannot work and implicitly suggesting there is no other way to solve things than a Communist revolution against the Anarchy of Capitalist production! 
Let us follow Comrade Friedman then!]
Here's to you some relevant (general) points on Capitalism:


Capitalist/entrepreneur/owner: 
s/he owns the means of production and s/he is compelled to exploit with his given market power to survive as a Capitalist  competing against other Capitalists and Investors. The Capitalist logic is "if you don't do it, another boss will profitably do it, cost-reduce his/her commodities with investment and screw you"
Workers: work suffer exploitative ownership. They are forced to accept boss' posts at market conditions so as to survive.
A State legitimising the Liberal Law for its very nature: 
the Law legitimises unemployment, cyclical crises and always approves measures for Capital salvation during a crisis, at the detriment of people.
Planet of slums and sweatshops; whose produce is sent out to an "also-exploited" west and whose countries are devastated by the competition of more developed Capitalist countries.
Never-ending Unemployment: favours big capital, drives down wages and strongly conditions the workers' political decisions.
-No environmental balance: environmental equilibrium is in the hands of profit, production property and competition; so you can imagine!
If producing with polluting substances is cheaper than producing with clean energy, then the boss will prefer investing with polluting substance. Why?
"If s/he doesn't do, someone else would profitable do it (competition/profit)"
By no accident, renewable energies and innovations are always delayed in Capitalism, for the sake of investors.
Lack of free press: ownership, funding, lobbying and advertisement determine the way news must be produced or if you want..
"can you go against who gives you bread?"
———————————————————
• CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL DEMOCRACY/KEYNESIANISM/REFORMIST CAPITALISM:



Let's now pass to some points on the general character of a "Welfare State":

Capitalist/owner is there, as well as the above mentioned Capitalist dynamics.
Exploited workers are still there "but less" exploited (what an achievement!) because of trade unions or "laws", though sometimes counteracted by pro-capitalist action+employer's organisation, 
—Wage-labourer are still (less exploited) wage-labourers —> Billionaires are still (less exploiting) billionaires.
The 99% still suffer the above-mentioned Capitalist imbroglio.
——————————————
• DEMOCRATIC POSTCAPITALISM/ANTI-BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM

With the assertion of free labour and the abolition of both Capital and Wage-labour we have:

No Capitalist (no exploiter) 
Post capitalist worker (Working and enjoying more leisure without the market pressure of Capital)
"Market" unemployment is banned by law
Grassroots democracy and remuneration according to individual contribution and transfer payments for whomever needs them for his/her regular and gratifying social functioning.
Democratic workplace and non-workplace elections of responsible political and economic representatives; subject to recall and monitoring.
—————————————


This is what all e.g. movements à la Zeitgest and other "liberal" forces, alas, fails to talk about. 
I will return on the Zeitgeist ideology later.
One, at this point of the article, may wonder why should social change require a revolution and not mere reformism:

•Why is Scandinavian style pro-Capitalist Reformism not sufficient?
And also:
• Should one opt for mere reformism or anti-Capitalist revolution?


To find this an answer to thi political question, let's just come to the facts.
Scandinavian "Capitalism-with-a-human-face" or Keynesian-like Capitalism entails the presence of a State, which spends vast sums of money for the Social good; thanks to taxation money and fictitious money (debt).
Despite all its important socio-economic goals, this system still legitimises the existence of private profit, ownership and competition; with all its short and long run negative consequences
It is important to point out that in 2010 e.g. unemployment in exploitation-exporting Sweden reached about 8.3% while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth fell by circa 5% in 2009.
In "Capitalist-with-a-human-face" Finland unemployment reached 10% in 1999 and 8.4% in 2010!
I should point out to you all that Scandinavia in general is first of all no more that Keynesian-Like as once (like until 60s), insofar as Keynesianism cannot sustain itself in the long run without inevitable generating crises and other pathologies such as monopolisation, militarism and inflation. 
The latter is particularly hated by investors, as a high inflation rate brings down financial returns. Why?
We shall see it in a while.
The doctrine of neo-liberalism is gaining strength in North Europe, alive and kicking with its pro-1% austerity and pro-privatisation measures. 
It is therefore necessary to discuss the character of Neoliberalism in a more detailed way, for the sake of the entire anti-Capitalist question.


SOME REMARKS ON NEO-LIBERAL POLICIES

Why does the financial and industrial gang need these deflationary neo-liberal policies?


Especially in times of crisis, promoting spending cuts and lower public wages in general are a very efficient way to foster deflationary tendencies in the economy and therefore get easy short-run profits on the part of bankers.
How? Through higher interest rates, as fostered by lesser inflation:
the nominal interest rate of loans is contractual
Whenever the bank decides to give out a loan to one customer in exchange for one future return on it, the bank and the customer agree on that in one year the bank will earn, say, 5% on the sum loaned to the customer.
If in the meanwhile the price level has increased by 3%, the real interest rate of the bank would be 2%, namely, 5% of the contractual (nominal) interest minus the rate of inflation in the economy (3%).
Hence, the easiest way to earn fast short-run profits above that meagre 2% of our example  is to cast an entire population into impoverishment with deflationary policies, which are an effect of lower spending in health, education and  in any kind of social benefits; and therefore produce a scenario with lesser workers in that sector (and higher trouble for both these workers and the whole population).

With similar opportunism, a way to boost industrial Capital profitability is through a reduction in private wages, privatisation, liberalisation, deregulation and (contextually) currency depreciation.

As for a Reduction in private wages, industrial Capitalists can achieve this "goal" by collectively lobbying a State and induce it to promote anti-Trade Union action (Trade Union maintains wages above their miserable equilibrium level, which is decided by "the market"). This can bring the private wages of workers back to the lower equilibrium point or slightly above.
As for Privatisation, the Capitalists can lobby the State with Employers' unions so as to destroy the State sector and plunder it with private action; so as to enter new markets and earn higher profits.
Especially during crises, in which Capitalists organise themselves in a very aggressive and efficient way (out of fear), few States resist this private pressure. Privatisation is an easy way for Capital to rise again from its ashes, in times of low profitability.
Liberalisation policies e.g. can be used by competitive Capitalists of a wealthy nation to destroy the Capitalist competition of poorer or less competitive nations, which can't defend themselves with a price floor applied on commodities of very competitive industries (which can afford lower prices). A price floor - absent in liberalisation - would shift the commodity price of a competitive industry above its equilibrium point determined by supply and demand and therefore protect the national Capital.
Similarly, deregulation destroy the opportunity of States to defend their national Capital from external competition through the application of "customs" (and, of course, destroys the revenue they would get from it). Depreciation of a country's currency - outside the discourse of a monetary union - allows foreign Capitalists to hire labour and buy estates/productive units at a cheaper rate.
At the same time it fosters one nation's export ability whilst damaging its ability to import.
As history proved in case a nation has difficulties in export, given the foreign protective measures and the lack of domestic competitiveness, one nation may itself isolated in the most dangerous way, with no ability to export and with terrible financial constraints behind the import of necessaries.

These Neoliberal policies spare no Capitalist country, especially in times of crisis.
The gang of Financial Capitalism - an important force behind these dynamics - is no more relatively weak like once, as the events in the US and Europe (from the UK to Italy) are proving. It is important point out that finance is a natural produce of Industrial Capitalism; which, as economic history would tell us, historically needed it as a necessary evil for further exploitation/appropriation of surplus value.

One should not get carried away, in Sweden and Finland too — where a culture of "Capitalism with a human face"/Reformist Capitalism has been developed overtime — the wage-labourers are there to stay as wage-labourers, just like billionaire are there to stay as billionaires.
Wage-labourers's labour power, her or his ability to work, is sold in the labour market; which exposes workers to surplus appropriation on the part of his/her boss.
The boss has to maintain an average rate of profit, as long as s/he wants to survive the competition with other more exploitative Capitalists. 
I am going to return on this matter in a more detailed way, down in the appendix.

People's wages keep fluctuating over time and, within the framework of the liberal law, unemployment is by no means illegal. No matter how "human" is the face of Capitalist Sweden
[as if really Capitalism could have a human face!], employment is not a right within Capitalism.
It would be with a rational economic planning, rather than with the anarchy of Capitalist production.
The scope of this article doesn't allow us to specifically dwell upon post-Capitalism in economic terms; this will be done in an article on the post-Capitalist economic planning; which I will publish soon. For the moment, one can have a look at my general idea of need-based remuneration within the framework of economic planning, within a concept that I call "Needism".

Returning to the topic of this article, it is important to emphasise that Social Democracy (with a human face) inflated the national debt and ultimately led to the austerity policies most of Europeans are now acquainted with (salary cuts, government spending cuts, privatisation, deregulation and so on). At this point of the article, one may wonder:

Is the abolition of Social Democracy socially necessary?
Yes, it is. But Social Democracy is not to be replaced with the introduction of Anarcho-Capitalism as Mises-style and Joseph-style Anarcho-Capitalist rhetoric suggests. Social Democracy is to replaced with the abolition of production ownership, through the post-Capitalist Revolution of the 99%.

To tackle the truncheon blows of Capital one has to study political economy of Capitalism whilst not indulging with a rhetoric on "democracy, rights and/or inter-cultural peace".
Liberal rights — whilst contributing to give a relief to wage-labourers — cannot do away with exploiting Capitalist relations and consequently with unemployment, crises and so on.


Private profit, private ownership and competition are there to stay, according to Capitalist apology.
Further, ownership IS exploitation; in political economy terms. By even leaving aside the moral character attached to it; the capitalist anarchy of production remains, within the above discussed framework of Capitalist unemployment, cyclical crises, partial remuneration of the full product of one's labour, pollution for profit, monopolisation, farce of parliamentarism, austerity, imperialist wars (export of Capital) and so on and so forth.


Talk about Africa, one the biggest Capitalist failures!
Among other things, how can the poor African sub-Saharian countries - given their late Capitalist development, the theft of European Capitalist gangs and the consequent problems of its Capital accumulation - compete with the despotism of ultra-developed Euro-American and Asian Capital, without dragging millions of African workers and oppressed people into the deepest abyss?

We know that Capitalism cannot do away with profit and competition, everywhere.
Africa - with its "soft" States - cannot compete against highly-industrialised nations with enriched States, if not through west-friendly ever-enslaving debt, speculation, austerity and war scenarios
Africa - probably one of the biggest Capitalist failures - has become, in the last 50 years, a battleground for profit through war production, debt, privatisations by foreign Capital, liberalisations, mine concessions and pharmaceutical business. 
Not to mention that Africa - the most financially "helped" continent in the human history - will get indebted and impoverished further by waiting for Western free economic aids, which often ends up destroying local producers.
Within the narrow-minded limits of bourgeois economics a' la Stiglitz- the African continent - that immense marvel of idyllic scenarios, cultures and contradictions - is there to implicitly stay as a tank of blood. 
Why?
Because only through death can Africa compete within the discourse of uneven Capitalist development. It goes without saying that only through the most internationalist revolution - whether indoor or outdoor - can Africa break its own chains of wage-slavery. 

Talk about "freedom of the press" in Capitalism!
With private production there can be no economic and political democracy. Hence, there can be no real democracy in the above mentioned system.

With the private media or State pro-Capitalist media there can be no freedom of the press: 
media funding, ownership, pre-existing dominant ideology, risk of lawsuits on the part of  influential bodies and lobbying in general end up preventing reality to come out in the news. 
To make it more understandable to bourgeois economists— since these elements entail the economic logic of "you can't go against your paying master" within the discourse of journalism, they end up hiding the media truth on any political, economic and/or social fact.



THE ZEITGEIST IDEOLOGY AND ITS PROBLEMS


[in the following video, Right-wing propaganda a' la Peter Joseph]


My understanding is that Zeitgeist movement's emphasis e.g. on automation, as well as the spirit of a consistent share of its people, can definitely match with the project of post-Capitalism or, if you want, "the social structure of the 99%".

On the other hand, it is important to point out that the Zeitgeist ideology, alas, says nothing on how to destroy the contradictions of Capital and Wage-Labour: the central point of the entire anti-capitalist question.
It does not have a clear plan on how to fight against Capitalism, the world's dominant exploitative social structure.

Through its weak political consciousness - not grounded in a general understanding of political economy - the Zeitgeist movement ends up play the dirty game of all those investors, who wish to maintain the inherent contradictions of Capitalism for the sake of their pockets.
At this point, one fair question would be: why?
Let's analyse this question together.
"Abolish the private power of money creation!" 
cry out Zeitgeist movement supporters and Anarcho-Capitalists!

In this regard, I would say it is true that the parasitic character of financial Capitalism is exacerbated by the private power of money creation.
It also true that this 'power' is a dialectical produce of Industrial Capitalism and - apart from being hardly destroyable through the Capitalist law within Capitalism for the sake of Capitalism - its abolition would be a simple gewgaw. Why?

Because the abolition of the private power of money creation would not change the wretched dynamics and perverse practices of Capitalism; in brief, the huge problems relative to the private ownership of the means of production would remain.
Least of all it would abolish the consequences of this ownership, namely, crises, unemployment, low wages, imperial wars, pro-austerity parliaments and so on.

Further, given the difficulty of this plan implementation against the private money creation and the relative modest results, an exaggerated focus on it may also shift the attention from a more radical plan to obtain more important political gewgaws.

[I dare say, gewgaws are, nonetheless, always appreciable!] 



My understanding is that Zeitgeist activists and supporters have honest intentions; though they fail to go beyond anarcho-capitalist ideology of 'no more private power of money creation'.
For this very reason, Zeitgeist remains a completely innocuous and vaguely liberal force.
Calling for the abolition of private power of money creation as a main goal within and through Capitalism is like telling a sweatshop worker s/he needs fresh air and more rest.


Noteworthy are Peter Joseph's phrases à la:


"If a big bank is behind exploitation, change your bank"


and by doing so the newly chosen bank sooner or later gets the profit of the other banks; expanding its appropriation of value!
O Joseph!

When I talk about the abolition of Capital and Wage-Labour, I implicitly refer to the revolutionary abolition of profit, production ownership and competition.
It is important to point out that nowadays it would be easier - as compared to fifty years ago - to organise an economic rational planning thanks to the advancement of information technology.
Processing huge amount of data has become relatively easy, nowadays.Technology and scientific discoveries have always made people's life better; they are progressive labour-saving forces.

I agree with Mr Joseph on that our social structure will inevitably lead to a collapse; and yet the reasons I provide are relative to the falling rate of profit. The law of the falling rate of profit makes itself felt in any kind of Capitalism; be the Fascist one or the Social Democratic one.
The average rate of profit - which is not the absolute profit but the share of profit given total capital employed - tends to perpetually decrease and this growing decrease will reach a point at which the rate of profit would not provide further incentive for Capitalists to expand production. Accumulation will stop and this will be a big problem for Capitalism, which cannot exist without continuously expanding production for higher absolute profits.
At that point Capital will have to wage wars or invent the most desperate, non-human and imaginative solutions in order to survive.
If mere competition within the capitalist anarchy of production produced imperial wars and export-related starvation in the last centuries, I don't even feel like speculating on what desperate non-accumulating Capital will need to invent so as to rise from its ashes.
Considering the growing weakness of Capital for its internal instability, what I can say on the matter is that at that point, revolution will be - all in all - relatively easier, as long as humanity still exists.

Delicate issues like environmental balance and nukes proliferation in Capitalism e.g. are regulated by the dynamics of profit, production property and competition; so you can imagine.
We live in a Capitalist world where these variable even regulate nuclear and pharmaceutical production in the most irresponsible way.
The contradictions of Capital and Wage-Labour must be envisioned, if one wants to go back to a contradiction-less harmonic social structure.

Jacque Fresco - an honest man with extraordinary engineering and creative skills and a figure associated to the Zeitgeist movement - indulges in designing space-saving and eco-friendly buildings and concocting a futuristic social structure without minimally discussing all those economic factors may hinder such projects, such as profit, competition and production ownership.
The biggest problem is that Fresco wanders in "his" future without discussing our mode production and the ways to overcome it.
For these reasons and for his wretched general politico-economic approach, Fresco has little interesting to say on the social production organisation of a postcapitalist socially structure and therefore on its socio-political dynamics.
Without dwelling upon the fact that postcapitalism can only be a social structure without exploitation and therefore without the existence of Capital and workers subordinate to wages in a labour market, Mr Fresco - as well as Mr Joseph - does not appear to be an anticapitalist, rather he appears as a visionary dreamer, whose political approach would a-priori fail to destroy (nay, transform) the bases of our current perverse social structure.

Rejecting the political system is by no means a solution, unlike what the fancies of Mr Peter Joseph and the website of the Venus Project suggest.
The refusal to participate to 'official' political activity merely contribute to isolate the 99% and allow bourgeois voters to make their socio-economic presence felt, in political terms and therefore economic terms.
Whether parliamentarism is farce or not, wage-labourers - the 99% - can tactically exploit this wretched bourgeois political system in order to achieve important (though partial) results, perhaps through economic demands; no matter how much 'reformistic' they sound.
It goes without saying that in order to make a revolution wage-labourers must first of all be alive and healthy; and, above all, politically active and experienced.
Whenever the bourgeoisie wants to impose, say, a proportional tax, the 99% must politically ask for a progressive tax so high to make the bourgeoisie tremble with fear and wage-labour rejoice with relief, whilst not neglecting its revolutionary aims.
Whenever the 1%, the bourgeoisie, calls for the privatisation of certain activities the 99% must react by asking for its political defence and asking for the expenditure of public finances in infrastructures and social services. The 99% must make the life of Capital impossible, by any dialectical means, whilst not forgetting its revolutionary tasks.

In the best case, Mr Joseph clearly doesn't know what he himself is saying (assuming he's not liberally opportunistic). The system of Capitalist reproduction and accumulation — with its profit, competition and means of production ownership — is the reason behind the humbug that is making Europeans' and Americans' life impossible, not to mention that of the rest of the world.


Only by attacking and transforming the economic elements of Commodity production one can head for the direction of change.


Hope this very short article has been useful for your political consciousness!


Stay tuned!
-----
----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----  ----- ----- ----- -----  ----- ----- -----



APPENDIX TO THIS ARTICLE

(for whomever wants to gain a greater knowledge of political economy)



As we may recall from what all I discussed so far:


until one supports the dialectical contradictions of Capital as opposed to Wage-Labour, which suffers its huge market power, one is to be defined as Capitalist: whether s/he is Keynesian, Theocratic, green, blue, "red" or Libertarian.
One becomes post-Capitalist only if s/he actively supports the abolition of contradictions, included those of Capital and Wage-Labour. A post-Capitalist supports the achievement of sheer wage-less labour and no property relations, except those relative to the most urgent needs.
Ricardo and Marx, as previously discussed, proved that if labour is to be regarded as the only value maker within social production, any sort of production property - from Lordship to Entrepreneurship - is mere appropriation of Labour. The logical conclusions of Ricardianism - which legitimised profit - led to its own very decline and helped to shape Marxian economics.
By no accident, Marx can be regarded as the last great classical economist, whose insightful conclusions hint at the abolition of a so-much-studied and so-much-suffered Capitalism.
Alas, the "political point" is not self-evident as much in Marx's LTV as in "mainstream economics".
In fact, Libertarian and mainstream economics in general regards uncountable buyers' psychological evaluations alone as 'value-creating'; neglecting supply.
Hiding the notion of human labour from the field of economic investigation and consequently from bourgeois economic textbooks - an intellectual humbug, which is done very well by Libertarians and Neo-Keynesians - is not only an idealistic cosy fallacy apt to come to unrealistic and easy conclusions.

It is a politically motivated choice.

In fact, only through an understanding of labour dynamics one can grasp the concept of economic exploitation. Ricardianists, unlike Neoclassical economists, regard 'labour' alone as 'value-creating'; neglecting demand. Marx would probably say unto both of them:

"you're forgetting that in reality both Demand and Supply exist".

It is not that random that as soon studies of classical economists (such as Ricardo, Marx, Smith) started hinting at human labour exploitation by means of the owner's appropriation of surplus value, classical economics felt the need to reinvent itself so as to survive and go on legitimising Capitalism (whilst demonising the discovery of surplus value of Classical economist Marx).

Before going on with this guide, I wish to give a general understanding of Marxist notions to any reader, who hasn't developed knowledge on Marxism yet.
Marx emphasises that one commodity is something two-fold: it has both exchange value and use value.
The exchange value represents the ‘quantitative worth’ of one commodity and is determined by the homogeneous human labour embodied in it, as needed by the buyers.
Use-value is the value relative to the satisfaction of human needs; and, of course, is embodied by all the needed products of nature in general. (Labour is nature too).
Further, Use-value is embodied within commodities whose creation has been allowed exclusively by socially necessary labour.
What is the Socially Necessary Labour?
I wrote in my article on Marx's Labour Theory Value:

The value magnitude of the products of labour is determined by the socially necessary labour-time, that is to say, “the labour-time socially necessary is that required to produce an article under the normal conditions of production, and with the average degree of skill and intensity prevalent at the time” [Davide Ferri - Marx's Labour Theory of Value and the Humbug of Liberal accountancy]

It is important to point out that whether production property exists or doesn't exist, like in other social structures, use-values are achievable the same. They are achievable through socially necessary nature and socially necessary labour. 


By no accident, no post-Capitalist paradoxically wants to abolish nature and human labour!

Property does not produce a single unit of commodity value but rather, it steals it and converts it into the form of profit.
Goods are valued differently by different people. Use-value (determining the demand curve) is not to be regarded within the field of economic investigation, insofar as it is uncountable within commodity production. On the other hand, goods are needed at a certain extent.
The market heterogeneous forces prove that goods can have different values to different people. The conclusion is that, ultimately, there is an equalisation of these dynamics, in the form of (average) socially necessary labour time, embodied by the commodities.
The social summation of wages and profits is necessarily equal to the summation of prices.

In brief, buyers, with their psychological evaluations, unwillingly determine how much average human labour is needed in production terms; and therefore determine its value. Some questions may arise, at this point:

~Do you need desire alone to make commodities appear in society? Or you also need human labour employed in production, whether it is capitalist, feudal or tribal production?


~Does Desire alone give value to one wild apple on a wild tree, whether in Capitalism, Feudalism, Leninist Communism or Tribalism?


~In brief, desire alone can make a price tag pop up on top of a wild apple? 



No.
Because a wild apple doesn't contain any human labour.
Only desired labour, namely, socially necessary labour, gives you commodities, in any social structure, from primitive Communism to Capitalism. The value-objectifying desire exists only in the fancies of bourgeois investor-friendly economists.
Conventional ownership of a wild apple tree would simply forbid or make people pay for what's naturally free: the use-values achievable through the produce of nature.
Similarly, production ownership prevents people from fully achieving the use-values through the produce of labour.
Why? Because the purchasing power of workers - through the profit drain, a deduction to wages - is reduced.
For what?
For the sake of bosses' billions and the consequences of her/his practices, discussed above.

In social structures other than Capitalism, as well as in the case of counter-trade, "prices" e.g. were not there and yet commodities had a certain objective exchange value;  grounded on socially necessary labour, namely, production labour as required by buyers for their social functioning.

One buyer's psychological market evaluation determines the value of labour behind one certain commodity, along with the personal (different) desire-related evaluations of other buyers.
In the end there is an equalisation and that is the value of capitalistically-employed simple human labour, in social terms. I say "simple" because the technological advancement and the high division of labour brought to us by Capitalism deprived the wage-labourer of any possibility of expressing his/her  personal quality of labour in production. Only the quantity of labour, that is to say, quality-less work-hours counts for the Capitalist owner of sweatshops.
As Mr Marx would emphasise about Capitalist production:

Time is everything, Man is nothing.


Why couldn't chair-making craftsmanship sell anymore by finding itself forced to compete with advancing industrial production?
One artisan takes, say, 10 hours to make a chair, an industrial worker takes, say, 1 hour to do that.
Buyers are generally interested in the chair, not in the dynamics behind social production.
The craftsman's socially necessary labour time was therefore less valued as compared to that of industrial workers, precisely valued 1/10 the labour of the industrial worker; as the buyers' evaluations on commodities - and therefore the human labour involved in their production - proved.

What all is not socially necessary, it has either what I ironically call "disuse-value" or it doesn't have use-value at all.
Property of the means of production - a historical factor belonging to post-primitive-communist social structures - has use-value for few exploiters and "disuse-value" for the vast majority of people, for the exploited wage-labourers.
Karl Marx - a scholar of classical economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo - was aware, just like them, of monopoly practices and discussed them in many of his works.
It must be remembered that monopoly is not socially necessary 'nature'. It is an historical impediment to the reification of one commodity's real value.
It stems out of the material scarcity of one social structure.
Labour liberation is neither in monopoly practices nor in Capitalist exploitation; factors, which influence economic dynamics in the most dangerous way.
Capitalist exploitation is not socially necessary 'nature', yet it takes place in Chinese and Indian sweatshops. Whatever factor influences economic variables is not necessarily "value": a standard of measurement. Further, it must be remembered that scarcity-related human labour is by no means socially necessary, apart from being individualistically necessary to the pockets of the Bourgeois.

Socially necessary labour time is a real measurable factor; and labour and desire - the elements that compose it - are real variables. One abstract stance would lie in regarding desire alone as a measurable factor; therefore as value.
A friend made an example regarding an apocalyptic scenario in which, in broad terms, only one cow has remained in society.
What would this scarcity in value terms?
That the human labour employed for the only remaining cow in the world would be highly socially necessary and his value would be high, as monopoly-related scarcity is socially unnecessary nature for the human being, the sovereign of nature.
It is not chance that if human socially necessary labour was to be completely abolished by automated production, there would be no value; and therefore no price.
Everything would be free in a robotised futuristic democratic society.
The existence of property of robots and at the same time the non-existence of human labour expended in any sort of production would not generate value in society.
Rather, property of robotised means of production would appropriate labour in the early times of monopolisation of social automated production, where human labour would still be employed in some sectors of production.


As we may recal from the above mentioned notions, Labour and desire are the only elements of value.Two further questions may shine a light on the matter.

~Why do you need to pay one wage-labourer?


Perhaps because s/he needs to eat and achieve other social functioning to give you profit and survive.

~Thanks to what?
Thanks to the worthy bourgeois love for proprietorship of Libertarianism supporters - a mere historical humbug - or thanks to the socially necessary labour time that has always allowed, from time immemorial, the creation of use-values?

The latter.


END OF THE ARTICLE



If then the quantity of socially necessary labour realized in commodities regulates their 
exchangeable values, every increase in the quantity of labour wanted for the production of a 
commodity must augment its value, as every diminution must lower it. 
[Karl Marx — Value, Price and Profit, page 15]

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