In a message dated 1/28/2010 11:41:06 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
d.koechlin at wanadoo.fr writes:
We all know that the material basis for the existing relations of
production are more important than ideology.
the fundamental contradiction in Capitalism stems from the contradiction
between use-value and exchange-value, but which specific mechanism could, in
the short-term, bring insurmountable contradictions to the fore, such that
the working class would become more conscious of the necessity to alter the
prevailing status quo ?
The material basis of the existing relations or social organization of
labor or social relations of production or production relations was the
industrial process + bourgeois private property.
I personally prefer Karl Marx description of the fundamental contradiction
of the bourgeois mode of commodity production, as this mode of production
grew up and took shape on the basis of the industrial revolution. The
productive forces comes into conflict with the existing social relations of
production, or relations of production or the social organization of labor and
the property form within it has been at work.
The contradiction between use value and exchange value defines and is
called the COMMODITY FORM of products. Insurmountable contradictions
characterized the commodity form, because the individual producers as a totality
never really know if they will find a purchaser for the products. Under
bourgeois production as a coherent society system, contradiction is present from
birth to decay. These insurmountable contradictions of capital produce
periodic crisis of bourgeois commodity production.
One expression of crisis takes the form of the falling rate of profit.
Another form is overproduction of commodities, or the overproduction of
capital, meaning capital can not be deployed in reproducing a given field of
commodities due to lack of purchasing power of wage labor versus production
capacity, as this capacity is deployed on a capitalist basis. These two
examples do not exist independent of one another and one aspect proves the
environment for the other because capitalism is a system. Hence, productive forces
are not run - lay idled or destroyed, because bourgeois property compels
the productive forces to produce beyond the limits of capital to circulate
Society can experience crisis but not go into social and/or political
revolution for a number of reasons, including a series of ?bad hair days.?
The workers can fight pitched battles for equality of wages, greater shares of
the social products (wage increases), conditions of labor (work
conditions), for expanded political liberties (civil rights, gay rights, rights of
disabled, environmental issues, animal rights and so on) but society has to
be disrupted in such a way as to bring the necessity of political revolution
to the fore as the only solution and as an instrument to reorganize
society around qualitatively new productive forces. The revolutions of the past
century were all expression of the industrial revolution as it drove
society to pass from agrarian-feudal relations to industrial relations. Within
this social process capitalist and communist vied for power. Where communists
won power they faced carrying out the logic of industrial revolution, in
the more economically backwards areas (meaning productive forces) of the
world because the social revolution was from manufacture to industry property.
The political form of society was contested.
Today - 2010, we face a different kind of social revolution that is not the
old industrial revolution, but we face the same political revolution
outlined by Marx and Engels.
The degree of exploitation of the workers is not enough to bring the
workers to revolution. Auto workers were highly exploited and received high
wages. Exploitation is an economic category meaning degree of extraction of
surplus value and not necessarily degree of political oppressions or lack of
political liberty. Auto workers rebelled for 70 years against the degree of
Allow me to belabor this point. Henry Ford is credited with creating the $5
a day wage as a way to expand production and create an affordable car.
This is a lie. The $5 a day wage was a tool to stabilize employment with turn
over of his work force running as high as 70%, due to intensity of labor.
Perelman - one of the list economist, recently produced his writing on this
At a certain stage in the development of the material power of production,
the new evolving productive forces comes into antagonism, with the old way
society has been organized around a previous existing social organization
of labor and the foundation of the old society is disrupted and ultimately
shattered. Today this is taking place as the shattering of the old social
contract, which in our country was spoken of as the ?American Dream.?
The American working class can no longer achieve the American Dream in a
period when revolution is compelling society to leap to a new technological
basis. Social revolution combines with political revolution under our
The degree of exploitation is not what causes and defines the meaning or
ability of capital to expand. The ability of capital to expand means
expansion against a previously existing social system, or in the case of the former
Soviet Union into areas politically shut off to capital. Expansion of
capital also means its ability to reproduce itself as an expanding value. Not
simply as wealth, which can be acquired by hitting the lottery, but an
expanding value or reproducing the social relations of capital on an expanding
scale. In order for capital to expand it must contain the ability to
convert labor into deployable wage labor with the ability to consume on the
capitalist basis. Revolution in the productive has cut off this ability in a way
capitalist society has never experience.
We have entered an epoch of social revolution. .