Friday, February 08, 2013

Part 4 of 6: The Political-Economic "Law-of-Motion" of Modern, Capital-Centered Society

Dear Readers,

Below is part 4 of my 6-part serialization of the Equitist Advocacy group’s essay "The Political-Economic Law of Motion of Modern, Capital-Based Society -- The 'Sociotaxis' Toward [State-]Capitalist Totalitarianism as Political-Economic Attractor".

As with my previous serialization, here, of their "Malady and Remedy" manifesto, I have felt free to add to and/or to re-write portions of the text which I feel need updating, or other improvement(s).

The Equitist Advocacy group’s original essay can be accessed via the following URLs --



The Political-Economic "Law Of Motion" of Modern, Capital-based Society --

The 'Sociotaxis' Toward State-Capitalist, Humanocidal Totalitarianism as 'Political-Economic Attractor'

Part 4 of 6:  The "Lawful" Emergence of Totalitarian Rule in the Core of the "Advanced Capitalist", World-Market System

Perhaps no clearer — more prescient, more condensed — description of the political-economic self-movement, within core capitalism, toward state-capitalism, by way of "joint-stock company" capitalism, or 'corporation capitalism', has ever been written, than that which was written by Frederick Engels himself — publishing thoughts which, we conjecture, overall, he and Marx shared — in Anti-Duhring (first published in 1878), much of which still reads like passages excerpted from todays news reports!:

"It is this pressure of the productive forces, in their mighty up-growth, against their character as capital, increasingly compelling the recognition of their social character, which forces the capitalist class itself more and more to treat them as social productive forces, in so far as this is at all possible within the framework of capitalist relations.  

Both the period of industrial boom, with its unlimited credit inflation, and the crisis itself through the collapse of great capitalist establishments, urge forward towards that form of the socialization of huge masses of means of production which we find in the various kinds of joint-stock companies.  

Many of these means of production are from the outset so colossal that, like the railways, they exclude all other forms of capitalist exploitation.

At a certain stage of development even this form no longer suffices; the official representative of capitalist society, the state, is constrained to take over their management.

This necessity of conversion into state property makes itself evident first in the big institutions for communication:  the postal service, telegraphs and railways.  

If the crises revealed the incapacity of the bourgeoisie any longer to control the modern productive forces, the conversion of the great organizations for production and communication into joint-stock companies and state property shows that, for this purpose the bourgeoisie can be dispensed with.

All the social functions of the capitalists are now carried out by salaried employees.

The capitalist has no longer any social activity save the pocketing of revenues, the clipping of coupons and gambling on the Stock Exchange, where the different capitalists fleece each other of their capital.

Just as at first the capitalist mode of production displaced the workers, so now it displaces the capitalists, relegating them, just as it did the workers, to the superfluous population, even if in the first instance not to the industrial reserve army.

But neither the conversion into joint-stock companies nor into state property deprives the productive forces of their character as capital.

In the case of joint-stock companies this is obvious.

And the modern state, too, is only the organization with which bourgeois society provides itself in order to maintain the general external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against encroachments either by the workers or by individual capitalists.

The modern state, whatever its form, is an essentially capitalist machine; it is the state of the capitalists, the ideal collective body of all capitalists.

The more productive forces it takes over as its property, the more it becomes the real collective body of all the capitalists, the more citizens it exploits.

The workers remain wage-earners, proletarians.

The capitalist relationship is not abolished; it is rather pushed to an extreme.

But at this extreme it is transformed into its opposite.

State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but it contains within itself the formal means, the key to the solution." [Frederick Engels, Herr Eugen Duhring's Revolution in Science, International Publishers [NY:  1966], pages 303-304, emphasis added by Anonymous].

Engels is still not fully explicit here as to the difference between the "state property" relation — 'state capital' and 'state wage labor', or wage labor hired by the state — and the subsequent "solution to the conflict", i.e., "social ownership"; 'social property' — the new property-relations, or social relations of production, of "association", or of "the associated producers" [Marx]. 

Nor does Engels seem, here, to foresee the horrific lived nightmare of police-state mass torture, mass rape, and mass-murder to which the absolute power of the monopoly-state — unchecked and unbalanced by any countervailing power — was to lead, in Stalin's Russia, in Hitler's Germany, in Mao's China, and beyond, e.g., in all of the psychopathically-vicious "Third World" police-state dictatorships imposed worldwide by the power of the core plutocracy, and also, tendentially, today, in the U.S. and U.K. core of the world-market system of capitals.

Why were these proto-state-capitalist, 'pure-bureaucratic' formations so viciously totalitarian, whereas ascendant phase core private capitalism was the champion of at least representative, political democracy and, at least ideally — although so often honored in the breach — of civil liberty? 

Because the power-to-rule, and the property, of a state-bureaucratic ruling class is totally and instantly vulnerable to purely-political assault.

A pure state-bureaucratic ruling class has only a tenuous hold on the means of production, a kind of politically-mediated, collective ownership, rather than any private or individual, e.g., legally 'familially'-inheritable ownership claim. 

If such a ruling class is deposed politically, it is deposed totally

If it loses an election — loses its hold on the state — it immediately forfeits all [collective] ownership claims, all hold on the means of production, the basis of all of its socio-political-economic power. 

Hence, such a ruling class will not tolerate — is mortally threatened by — political competition, or even by mere political dissent. 

A private capitalist ruling-class retains private ownership of the core property, the core means of social production, that found its hold upon socio-economic power, even should a hostile party accede to merely political power, e.g., through electoral victory, despite all of the incessant, enveloping ideology-inculcation by the big-capital-monopolized mass media. 

No ruling class, successful as such, for long, will consent to social conventions or institutional arrangements which put its rule, its power, in continual mortal peril.

A private capitalist ruling class can — at least during the ascendant phase of capital accumulation — afford, and even gain from, the institution of representative political democracy and civil liberty.
A pure-bureaucratic ruling class cannot.

The presently-emerging motive to totalitarianism of the core capitalist ruling plutocracy is different than were the motives to totalitarianism of the ‘proto-state-capitalist’ bureaucratic ruling classes of [pseudo-]"Communist" Russia and China.

Nevertheless, both motives come down, in the end, to the motive to maintain social-dictatorial power at any and all human costs, no matter how horrific those costs.

Backward, semi-peripheral, Stalinist, 'bourgeoisie-less' or 'pure-bureaucratic' proto-state-capitalism, conditioned by the absence of a strong private capitalist class to drive industrialization, was a 'disfigured prefigurement' of the desperate resort to the state that belongs to the lawful, ultimate destiny of advanced, core capitalism in its historical extremity.

Therefore also the manner of the overthrow of those ‘proto-state-capitalist’, totalitarian formations gives us our first, albeit also disfigured, glimpse of — and a prototype for — the potential mode of overthrow that we should expect/predict for the full-blown-totalitarian, hybrid private-/state-capitalism, that is presently emerging in the capitalist core.

The revolutionary transition into Stalinist ‘proto-state-capitalism’ was full of all of the Jacobinoid, barricaded-streets mass violence, assassination, «coup d'état», civil war, and secret police reprisal and atrocity that is associated with the capitalist revolutions of the England of Cromwell and of the France of The Reign of Terror. 

That catastrophic carnage is a hallmark of those kinds of social revolutions which displace the despotic rule over, and cannibalization of, the rest of society by one privileged minority, but which replace it with the same kinds of depredations by another, new privileged minority — e.g., proto-industrialist private capitalists, or proto-state-capitalist Stalinist bureaucrats, replacing a monarchical landed aristocracy.

The overthrow of the Stalinist regime — of one of the most brutal, vicious, monstrous dictatorships in the entire history of humanity — throughout Russia and Eastern Europe, was accomplished with astonishingly little violence. 

Popular consciousness, popular will, popular intension — prepared by decades of illegal, secret, «samizdat» circulation of gradual consensus-building news and views in the context of an absolute state-monopoly upon the official means of mass communication — simply ceased to consent any longer to Stalinist rule, making this manifest in mass demonstrations so vast and so obviously majoritarian that the forces of the secret police simply did not dare to immediately intervene, out of mortal fear for their own hyper-perverted “skins”, their own, bestial, lives. 

Marxian theory, purged of Stalinoid ideology, accounts well for the social dynamics and for the social '''meta-dynamics''' of this social-revolutionary overthrow of Stalinism [Please see, for example, David Schweickart, Against Capitalism, pages 345-348]. 

The massive violence came afterward, as the 'Meta-Nazi'-orchestrated hired liars of the Rockefeller’s University of Chicago, and other "neo-liberal" operatives, imposed Weimar-like "social shock therapy" upon the Russian people, and unleashed the mafia upon civil society, to punish the Russian people for daring to choose democracy, and to "make an example of them" for all the world to see, to discourage any other oppressed societies from making any more such bids for freedom. 

The manner of overthrow of the racialist, apartheid terror-regime in South Africa — an already partially industrially-developed capitalist nation-state — may have similar lessons, we believe, for the popular but [relatively] mass-non-violent mode of overthrow of core, hybrid private-capitalist/state-capitalist totalitarianism.

Prediction:  Capitalist-style, insurrectionary means lead to capitalist ends.

‘Lenino-Jacobinoid’ insurrectionary/terrorist conspiracies, and general cults of "guerilla" violence, are suited only, at most, to create Stalinist, ‘proto-state-capitalist’, bourgeoisie-substitutionist, totalitarian regimes.

Those residing in the capitalist core, who wish to catalyze the genuine social revolution that leads to political-economic democracy, need to look elsewhere, to other means, and to scrutinize the «samizdat» processes which prepared the ground for majoritarian, mass-non-violent social transformation in the Stalinist, ‘proto-state-capitalist’ formations of Russia and Eastern Europe, for clues to a successful social-revolutionary praxis of their own.

The truly Marxian currents, including truly "associated producers" currents — "soviets-based", or workers'-councils-based, direct-democratic, economic-democratic currents of socialist-communist theory and praxis — were crushed, increasingly, after World War I, between the double opposition of the wealthy and murderous private capitalists and Fascist totalitarians, on the one side, and the wealthy and murderous Stalinist ‘proto-state-capitalist’ totalitarians on the other, which could not even tolerate the pseudo-opposition of ‘Trotskyoid Leninism’. 

Consequently, no large-scale 'Socialist Renaissance', no rebirth of genuine, true and liberatory Marxian theory and practice, was possible before the apparent total defeat of that theory as ideologically expropriated and misrepresented, respectively, by the core capitalist and semi-peripheral Stalinist ruling classes alike; i.e., before the collapse of the Stalinist societies in Russia and its peripheries. 

But that 'Socialist Renaissance' is still only in its barest beginnings today. 

Throughout the [pseudo-]"Soviet" period, the bulk of the "Marxian" movement had utterly discredited itself in the eyes of the working classes of the world, by prostituting itself to, advertising for, and advocating for a system of social despotism and privation — Stalinist '''national socialism''' [or '''socialism in one nation''']; a despotism even more vicious than, temporarily at least, the private capitalist despotism from which those classes already so egregiously suffered. 

This capitulation and complicity in that world-historical crime was typically signaled by statements such as the following: 

"Some open, and some covert, enemies of the U.S.S.R. claim that a new exploiting class has arisen there. They pretend to see in the officials of the Soviet system, and the variations in incomes, a new exploiting class. Yet it is admitted that this new "class" does not own the means of production, that the means of production are socialized, that no one can start a business, as in America, for instance, and hire and exploit wage workers for profit." [which means only that the Stalinist state-bureaucracy is a '''jealous god''' — jealously guarding its monopoly on capital-ownership, and on wage-worker exploitation, brooking no competition, to its role of sole national capitalist, from any other entity].

¿But could Marxian theory, noting the "uneven", 'concentric' pattern of global capitalist self-development and geographical self-deployment, have anticipated the likelihood of this disastrous detour in its destiny?

¿How does the emergence and historical presence of a Marxian movement as a powerful, objective force in human history change the socio-politico-economico-psychohistorical equations which embody the Marxian theory of the self-evolution-to-self-revolution, or self-ruin, of capitalist, global civilization?

In particular, what is implied, and what should therefore have been predicted, by Marxian theory itself, as to the reaction of the capitalist ruling class — the reaction of the dominant faction of the capitalist plutocracy — to that emergence of Marxian theory/practice as a practical world-historical force within global capitalist society:  an emergenc[e][y] for the capitalist ruling class which is also at least implicitly 'pre-dicted', or 'post-dicted', by Marxian theory itself, and what are the predicted consequences, by and for Marxian theory, and for its own practice and strategy, of that reaction?

A more fully-developed, self-reflexive Marxian theory, to be such, must be able to theorize the phenomenon of itself as a part of human history. 

It must be able to account, psychohistorically, for the irruption of Marxian theory itself in[to] world history -- for both the “where” and the “when” and the “what” of that irruption, in the boundary between the core and the periphery of the capitalist world system -- able to account, theoretically, for the timing, the geographical location, and the theoretical content of that irruption.

It must be able to account, at least ‘retrodictively’, for what will happen when Marxian theory begets a global Marxian movement that comes to the attention of the capitalist ruling class as a new, major, mortal threat to its power. 

It must and also be able to account for what will happen when Marxian theory comes to be known to, and “adopted” by, insurrectionary movements in, e.g., the still quasi-feudal semi-periphery of core capitalism, i.e., in regions which are far from being ripe for majoritarian industrial wage-working-class revolution, but which are ripe for the revolutionary overthrow of their «Ancien Regimes». 

The outcomes of these irruptions and interactions are now known, from the historical record.  But a more fully-developed Marxian theory must be able to pass the test of deriving them, and explaining them, scientifically, as ‘postdictions’.

We will, hereinafter, refer to the dominant faction of the capitalist plutocracy by the name 'The Meta-Nazis', because of their tendency to rule, especially in their “Third World”, via ‘servant dictators’ -- state-capitalist/military dictators, essentially ‘‘‘Nazi’’’ dictators -- who are brutal dictators to the majority of their people, but -- usually -- abjectly servile, slavishly subservient ‘‘‘servants’’’ to their masters, the core plutocracy.

Consider, for starters, that the 'Meta-Nazis' have always been able to avail themselves of the best minds that money can buy. ... 

Note [by M.D.]:   

A key feature of the “ultra-irrational” use of their ultra-concentrated, descendant-phase political-economic ‘‘‘super-power’’’, by the ruling faction of the capitalist ruling class still remains to be rationally, scientifically explained, and explained in the sense of dialectical-scientific explanation.

The problem to be solved is this --  

¿Why do the descendant phase rulers of the capitals-system “lawfully”, predictably apply that power to humanocide, to ‘‘‘eugenocide’’’ -- to the pursuit of catastrophic global human population reduction, under the cover of Neo-Malthusian, “[pseudo-]ecological”, “People Are Pollution” ideologies?  

The Equitist Advocacy group’s solution to this problem will be set forth in Part 5. of this serialization.  

No comments:

Post a Comment