[Marxism] A new spectre haunts the WSJ,

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Fri Nov 19 09:14:02 MST 2010


S. Artesian, so, basically, since the French burn almost no coal for energy,
the Eurostar/Chunnel tracks can haul almost all freight anyway? Makes sense.

The point is not to look at any rail or transport system in a micro-economic
form. That's capitalist thinking. It's not if the transport system makes a
surplus (profit under capitalism, surplus under socialism, say) but if what
the transport system *brings* to the larger political economy. Does it open
up development? Does expand other inustrial forms of productivity? That sort
of thing.

That the eventual 8,000 or more miles of HSR in China can alleviate
passanger traffic on lines used for freight as well...does this have some
sort of pay off? And, if so, for how long?

Part of the speculative nature of residential growth in China was the result
of the same sort of bubble we saw in the west. But the diference is that
there is still a huge housing shortage in China. Additionally, there are as
part of their 5 Year Plans a huge persepctive to develop the interior of
China. Most of the vacant housing exist in these new and expanded cities in
the interior. If real development of productive forces occurs in these
areas, then those apartments becaome less a function of speculation but more
one of housinng. A lot of 'ifs' granted. But China today is not the US today
and building up their industries, and with it this sort of joint
state-private capitalist class, requries *real*, not speculative Imperialist
growth. This is why banking is so restrictive, the stock market plays such a
small role there,and why the gov't there is so concerned about a social
explosion if they can't meet the needs of the peoppe.

I think this latter point is key, and what guides the policies of the PRC
today. They have to keep a kind of 'popularist/Bonapartist' state-capitalism
going or it all ends, rather violently.

David



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