- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I explained C-M-C, not RD

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on July 12, 1999 at 09:59:36:

In Reply to: its always worth summarising posted by Gee on July 09, 1999 at 15:34:53:

: : C-M-C (Commodity-Money-Commodity) for the working class (i.e. I have a commodity, I sell it for money, I buy more vcommodities - my means of living).

: : M-C-M for the capitalist class (i.e. I take money, invest it in a commodity, I get more money).

: And people who achieve income from both methods (yes, they do exist and are increasing, early retirees are the biggest group, but so are various stockholders who work aswell)?

SDF: RD was horridly inspecific about the C-M-C transaction of the working classes. In real life, the first C is WORK-TIME. The working class sells its worktime (by the hour usually) so that it can buy the necessities of life (the last C). Early retirees do not, by definition, work, so their work-time is not a commodity in question. The middle C of M-C-M, on the other hand, is CAPITAL. The idea of two distinct classes is based on two distinct activities, owning and working, from which we extrapolate owners and workers. Class is thus a DERIVATIVE idea based on the EMPIRICALLY DEMONSTRABLE evidence of classes in any particular place and time.

As for the stockholders who work, either their holdings are trivial, or they own enough (and thus make enough off of corporate profits) so that their work is a luxury. Either way it's tough to get away from the concentration of wealth under capitalism.

: Are these either / or to the point where a $10 a year dividend means youre a capitalist even if the other $19990 comes from labor? What if You garden for $10 a year but your stocks produce the other $19990?

: If it isnt either / or then how do you avoid contradictions?

SDF: See above.

: : My point I I think you have a contradiction between your radical side and your conservative side- all talk of the market as 'natural' and defense of privellege by birth seems at odds with your radical liberalism- thusly your defense by natural law, etc. Also, you ahve accepted notions of totality, which is at odds with your idea that the market is natural- beyond human control.

: If the market is natural it is because man is natural (hence not 'beyond control' per se), really it is naughty of me to say the government 'artificially' does this or that to the currency rates, it is also 'natural' but some words carry ones meaning more succinctly.

: The idea of what a market or anything would look like without counter liberty interventions

SDF: Which include those HORRID impositions on one's freedom to commit fraud, to steal, to run confidence schemes, and other "market-based" ways of getting ahead.

: Privilege at birth is guiltless just as more intelligent parents may better teach a child, the child is not guilty of learning more. He is not beholden to the other. In a society which has private property (which I consider as natural as one that considers your body and mind as yours, property being meaningless without the above two)

SDF: Which doesn't explain the multiplicity of "natural" societies which don't have concepts of property (the Congo Pygmies et al.) nor does it explain the historical invention of property law by individual human beings working in a technological context. The "capitalism is natural" move lost its credibility a long time ago on this board. Private property is a social construct, an axiomatic concept of our social conditioning today ("don't steal") ("don't share") and like the social conditioning that permits people in certain social contexts to stop eating food (such as I went over in great detail), it has no direct relation to "human nature," and it certainly is not a pretext for you to smuggle "nature" into what is essentially a set of SOCIALLY-CONDITIONED choices.

: I dont think thats particularly conservative in the political sense, as conservatives still tend to proceed from the premise that your body/mind (and thus the rest) somehow 'belongs' or is beholden to others whether that be your lovely racial community, your 'nation', a god or whatever.

SDF: No, you are recommending the destruction of the nation-state which symbolizes those things, and unfortunately the nation-state is one of the few things shielding the average citizen today from the untrammeled domination of corporations. In short, you (and the powerful people whose ideological interests coincide with yours) are paving the way for a sort of "clean" domination where the oppressive realities ("I owe my soul to the company store") can be paved over by contracts and excused by the "tough luck factor" alibi, like the contracts for mutual protection between vassals and lords under feudalism, except maybe without any "great chain of being" ideology such as characterized feudal thought according to Arthur Lovejoy. A good clean neo-feudalism.

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