[Marxism] Re: Reply to Tom on the meaning of capitalism and statecapitalism

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Sun Dec 12 19:54:12 MST 2004


Jurriaan

You clearly have more time to write than I do, and I will have to pretty
much leave the last word with you. Naturally I don’t agree that I’ve missed
the main question – I think I’ve addressed it.  And I continue to think you
are presenting a capitalism unlike any that human beings have actually
experienced. The following two brief replies will illustrate:

>>Essentially, what matters for the bourgeoisie as a class is the ability
to own and accumulate private assets securely, and to be able to trade,
without undue restrictions. That would be their main objection to the
Soviet Union<<

It was one of their main objections to the Suharto regime, too. As a result
of which, Indonesia experienced a naive Eastern European-style cult of the
market in 1987-88. I don’t think this made New Order Indonesia a
post-capitalist society.

>>If the vast majority of inputs and outputs of the production process are
items sold at market-prices, then I think you can say that the law of value
governs ("dominates") production [and] state policies are mainly REACTIVE
to market developments.<<

A big “if”. In reality prices are always skewed all over the place by
non-market influences. One reason is that the state is not “mainly reactive
to market developments”. I think it tends to be pro-active. For example I
doubt very much that the Iraq war is mainly a reaction to market
developments; it is probably more an attempt to shape market developments.

But thanks for the prompt reply.

Tom






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