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January 14, 2012 at 10:48 am in reply to: TEDxPannonia 2011 – Prof. Franz Hörmann – Society 2.0 – Entering a World Without Money #87543
Just listened to this and he himself is not advocating “a World Without Money” whatever the organiser of the event at which he spoke might have in mind. The argument he puts forward about a society charging interest being mathematically impossible in the long run because it requires an impossible exponential growth was refuted long ago by Marx in chapter 24 of Volume III of Capital where he quotes the Rev Dr Richard Price as writing in 1774:Quote:Money bearing compound interest increases at first slowly. But, the rate of increase being continually accelerated, it becomes in some time so rapid, as to mock all the powers of the imagination. One penny, put out at our Saviour’s birth to 5 per cent compound interest, would, before this time, have increased to a greater sum, than would be contained in a hundred and fifty millions of earths, all solid gold.
and comments:Quote:But Price entirely forgets that the interest of 5% presupposes a rate of profit of 15%, and assumes it to continue with the accumulation of capital. He has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual process of accumulation, but rather only with lending money and getting it back with compound interest. How that is accomplished is immaterial to him, since it is the innate property of interest-bearing capital.
Professor Hörmann makes the same mistake. The capitalist economy does not expand because banks lend at compound interest but because workers produce surplus value. As interest has to be paid out of surplus value it cannot be greater than this and in fact is a great deal smaller. It is profit not interest that drives the capitalist economy.
The Occupy movement in London seems to be sinking lower and lower as the panel of speakers for this meeting on Sunday 15 January seems to show:Quote:11:15-1pm: Session 1: Tax and GovernmentRichard Murphy (Tax Justice Network)Gordon Kerr (Cobden Partners)Robin Smith (Systemic Fiscal Reform)1pm-1:30pm Lunch Break1:30pm-2:15pm: Session 2: Money and SocietyBen Dyson (Positive Money)Dada Jii (Progressive Utilization)Peter Challen (Global Justice Movement)2:15pm-4pm: Session 3: Land, Commons and Cooperative EconomicsDerek Wall (Green Party, Goldsmiths)Fred Harrison (Land Research Trust)Cliff Mills (Mutuo)
Bem Dyson is a currency crank who thinks banks can create money out of thin air and who supports way-out Tory MPs Douglas Carswell and Steve Baker. Robin Smith is a supporter of Henry George (who stood for free market capitalism) and wants to stand at the next general election as a Tory candidate. Fred Harrison is another follower of Henry George who argues that George “proposed qualitative changes that would have built equity and greater efficiency into the capitalist mode of production”. The only person who knows anything about socialism as we understand it is Derek Wall who knows us well.Anyway, some of us will be there to leaflet and take part in the discussion as the meeting should attract some who really do want to go “beyond capitalism” and who won’t be interested in mere banking and/or land and/or tax reform.January 14, 2012 at 7:37 am in reply to: Workers create all the “wealth” (SPGB, SWP) or “value” (CPGB)? #87551
Of course wealth (useful things fashioned from materials that originally came from nature) will continue to exist in socialism. It’s only exchange value that won’t exist (won’t come into existence since wealth will no longer be produced to be bought and sold). Wealth and use-values are the same or, rather, wealth is made up of use-values.The thing about use-value is that it is subjective in that what is considered (valued as) useful by one person or group of persons is not necessarily so considered by another person or group and so can’t be measured in a common unit in the way that exchange value can.Socialist society will have to decide what it is useful (what use values) to produce and then individuals can decide what is useful to them and take this from the distribution centres without the goods (use-values) being priced and without having to hand over money or use a card.January 13, 2012 at 10:09 am in reply to: Workers create all the “wealth” (SPGB, SWP) or “value” (CPGB)? #87548
The “CPGB” of course is no more the old CP than Militant is us (they too are name stealers) and you have to listen to 8 minutes of how they would love to infilitrate the SWP before you get to the criticism of the statement on “What the SWP stands for” that is published in every issue of Socialist Worker.This begins :Quote:The workers create all wealth under capitalism.
The “CPGB” speaker says that this conflicts with Marx’s opening criticism of the Gotha Programme adopted by the German Social Democrats in 1875 that:Quote:Labour is the source of all wealth and all culture.
Marx comments:Quote:Labour is not the source of all wealth. Nature is just as much the source of use values (and surely of such that material wealth consists!) as labour, which itself is only a manifestation of a force of nature, human labour power.
Actually, this is not a criticism of the SWP statement nor of the what we say in Clause 1 of our declaration of principles where we talk of “the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced”. Marx’s criticism was that the statement he criticised did not explicitly state that labour worked with and on materials that came from Nature to priduce wealth (personally, I think he’s nit-picking a bit here, even if he’s right). He wrote:Quote:The above phrase … is correct in so far as it is implied that labour is performed with the appurtenant subjects and instruments … And in so far as man from the beginning behaves towards nature, the primary source of all instruments and subjects of labour, as an owner, treats her as belonging to him, his labour becomes the source of use values, therefore also of wealth.
In other words, in any society wealth is only produced by work and, under capitalism, it’s the work of the appropriately called working class that produces the wealth.Value is the form wealth takes under capitalism where there is production for the market with a view to profit (which is why it won’t exist in socialism) and is equally only created by the labour of the working class. As it’s a rather technical term in economics I don’t think it would be a good idea to change to change “wealth” to “value” in Clause 1.
Why is the thing about Free World Charter on both Events and General Discussion? When I replied to the Events one it also appeared on General Discussion. The same happened with the thing about the Boyles which is on both Off Topic and General Discussion.
Yes, we’ve shown the 6-minute video a couple of times at meetings in London to start off a discussion. Agreed the Irish bloke behind it (Colin Turner) has some things in the Charter itself we can’t agree with, but I thought the video itself was basically ok. The FAQ is made up of the sort of questions we get and some of the answers are those we give. I think people will understand by “communism” he means what used to exist in Russia, etc. In which what he says is true.
We clashed with Kevin (I’m tempted to call him Kit) Carson ten years ago on the WSM Forum. Here’s an example of his arguments against socialism (which also give some of our counter-arguments):http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/WSM_Forum/message/13851http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/WSM_Forum/message/14041http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/WSM_Forum/message/14090http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/WSM_Forum/message/14279I suppose we could review this new book if we can find a someone to read through pages and pages in praise of the market.alanjjohnstone wrote:Confirmed panel participants include:Conservative MP for Wycombe Steve Baker who raised a private member’s bill last year on accounting standards
Not just that. He supports Austrian economics (ie Baron Von Mises), the Tea Party and Ron Paul. I think he wants to abolish the Bank of England. Which, I suppose, might appeal to some Occupiers.alanjjohnstone wrote:oops… a bit late for anyone who intended to attend
It may be Wednesday out East but it’s still Tuesday here.
And here’s what the Socialist Standard said about Mark Boyle and his silly idea of trying to live without money under capitalism:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2010/no-1267-march-2010/cooking-books-2living-without-moneyJanuary 8, 2012 at 9:53 am in reply to: None can be right against the party – even Athiest ex-members #87256
I see that on Newsnight on Wednesday Jeremy Paxman said that Giles Fraser, the dean (or whatever he was) of St Pauls who had to resign because he welcomed the Occupiers there, was once in the SWP. I wonder if he was a member at the same time as Hitchens. They could have had some interesting debates.
There’s a difference between saying that it can’t happen and that it’s not going to happen. Sounds like the second because if you accept that socialism could work (as you say your friend does) you must also logically accept, since socialism can only work if people want it to work, that it could be brought into being. Whether it ever will be is another question. The answer to which is basically that it’s not going to happen as long as most people think it’s not going to happen.But I don’t think getting socialism is just a matter of convincing enough people. At the present stage of human social development socialism is, as a matter of objective fact (not mere opinion or desire), the only framework within which the problems currently facing humanity in general and wage and salary workers in particular can be solved. Since humans learn by experience they will sooner or later realise this. All we can do, as a minority of socialists, is to help this happening sooner rather than later by pointing this out at every opportunity.January 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm in reply to: Link Between Airlines’ Profitability and Accident Rates #87251gnome wrote:alien1 wrote:invasion of the ‘Comment SpamBots’
Cheers for the alert. The user responsible has been temporarily blocked and the spam removed.
There’s still a dozen or so of his crap under General Discussion that has yet to be cleared away.DJP wrote:Looked up who it was who came up with the ‘state as monopoly on violence’ idea thinking it was one of the anarchists, but seems that one comes from Weber, the godfather of sociology and enemy of socialism.
I thought that before that Engels had defined the state as “armed bodies of men” defending private property but on checking can’t find this, only that this is what Lenin and Trotsky said he said. Not that it’s necessarily wrong (just a bit summary) or that Engels wouldn’t have said it. It’s just that he doesn’t seem to have done. At least I couldn’t find it.The early French Marxist Gabriel Deville defined the state in a talk on The State and Socialism in 1895 as:Quote:the public power of coercion, created and maintained in human societies by their division into classes, and which, having force at its disposal, makes laws and levies taxes.
Surely this pre-dates Max Weber’s definition of the state as an entity which successfully claims a “monopoly on the legitimate use of violence” (even if this isn’t a bad definition).The Socialist Party inherited Deville’s definition. As, for instance, we said in our pamphlet Questions of the Day (http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pamphlets/questions-day):Quote:The State is the public power of coercion. It arose out of the early division of society into classes, and developed with the development of class conflicts. It is the result of the desire to ‘keep order’: order, that is, in the interests of the class that is supreme; order to allow the ruling class to protect its property ownership and exploit the rest of the population. Through the ages the State has been controlled, as a rule, by the class that has been economically the most important. Through its control of the State and its power to levy taxes a class that has outgrown its economic importance can often continue for a time to control social affairs.January 5, 2012 at 10:55 am in reply to: Variant Issue 43 – The Economy of Abolition/Abolition of the Economy #87267
I think you mean Variant Issue 42. They send this to us but I’ve never bothered to look at it myself as it seems to be an arty-farty cultural magazine. So this on the face of it interesting article is probably just a one-off.Anyway, on your recommendation I’ve ploughed through it — and that’s the word as it’s very heavy going. The theme seems to be that the struggle of workers in the workplace has been (and should be) superseded by the struggle against debt as this is more likely to lead in today’s conditions to the end of “wage-labour, exchange and the state”. Doesn’t make much sense to me but it seems that this is the thesis of a whole school of thought who called themselves “communisers”.
Thanks to the services of the Party’s Library Committee I’ve now been able to track down the exact source. It is from the letter Morris wrote to the Rev George Bainton on 10 April 1888 which is reproduced in full in The Letters of William Morris to His Family and Friends edited by Philip Henderson which is in our library.The full quote shows that Morris understood his stuff:Quote:The fact of the antagonism of classes underlies all our government and causes political parties, who are continually making exhibitions of themselves to the disgust of all sensible men; making party questions out of matters of universal public convenience, and delaying reforms of the most obvious nature long after the whole country has cried out for them. This is I think a necessary result of government—or, if you please, of political government; and what causes that government is, as I have said, the contest of classes which our competitive system forces on us.Under these conditions the business of a statesman is to balance the greed and fears of the proprietary classes against the necessities and demands of the working class. This is a sorry business, and leads to all kinds of trickery and evasion; so that it is more than doubtful whether a statesman can be a moderately honest man.