Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Part 1. of 8.: Political-ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY



Dear Readers,


This blog-entry contains the first part of my serialization, within this blog, of the Equitist Advocacy group's “Way Forward” proposal, entitled Alternative to the Totalitarian, Humanocidal Self-Degeneration of Capitalism -- Political-Economic Democracy, with my own edits added to their text, for its improvement [improvement, at least, to my way of thinking!]. 

 

In my opinion, this text is too valuable to be treated as any kind of “sacred text”.


It needs to be “improved upon”, and circulated, «samizdat», worldwide, in such “improved” forms -- i.e., in as many versions as are seen as being needed, by every author who thinks that [s]he can “improve” upon it [including this one].

This text is under the Equitist Advocacy group’s omni-copyright umbrella, so there are no “copyright violation” issues to hinder such circulation, whether attributed anonymously, or under the name or pseudonym of the improving author, or under the name of the Equitist Advocacy group [although, in that case, the fact of the “improvement” of their original text by (an)other author(s) should be explicitly noted, obviously].


Here are the links to the original version, by the Equitist Advocacy group --

http://equitism.org/Equitism/Equitism-entry.htm

http://www.equitism.org/Equitism/Theory/PoliticalEconomicDemocracy/PoliticalEconomicDemocracy.htm


Regards,

Miguel













Part 1. of 8. --

Alternative to the Totalitarian, Humanocidal Self-Degeneration of Capitalism -- Political-Economic Democracy



Introduction

Is there no alternative to our plight — to the horrific destiny of humanocidal totalitarian degeneration described in Global Strategic Hypothesis:  Towards A Strategy For Humanity and in The Political Economic Law Of Motion of Modern, Capital-based Society -- The 'Sociotaxis' Toward Totalitarianism?


We believe that there is an alternative.


We have endeavored to introduce you to that alternative by way of the text below.



Initial Working Hypotheses

 

Hypothesis A

A Progressive Negation of Bourgeois Democracy, and of Bourgeois Civil Liberty, Means a Dialectical Negation Thereof.  What we seek is an «aufheben» extension, not an absolute abolition -- i.e., not an undialectical / abstract negation -- of bourgeois democracy.

It is suicidal, ahistorical, and simply wrong to condemn all of bourgeois democracy -- and all of bourgeois civil liberty -- as if they were without any substance at all.

The expanded social reproduction witnessed within the ascendance phase of capitalism, along with its advances in voting rights, and in civil liberties, afforded the majority of the populations of the core capitalist nations greater protections from the depredations of the capitalist class and of its state than they had ever before enjoyed — e.g., ending the “bad old days” when anyone who would not kiss the ass of the king was subject to summary beheading, or drawing and quartering — and made it possible for that majority to transcend the status of peasant and serf semi-slavery, to form unions, and to attain to “middle class” standards of living, for a time.

The post-1800s, decadent phase of capitalism, with its gathering social-entropic momentum of contracted social reproduction, its pro-contraction ideologies [e.g., most recently, ruling-class perverted, “People are Pollution” ‘ecologism’], and competitive-capitalism’s slide into hybrid, private-oligopoly/state-capitalist totalitarianism, is set to annihilate all of those gains, and has already, especially via the current “Designer Depression”, as well as during recent “Wars of Choice”, gone along way toward completing that reversal of fortunes for the majority, producing class.

However, this fact, in truth, only accentuates -- it does not erase -- the importance of those gains, and of the fight to resume and extend them -- except in the demented minds of nihilists.

Indeed, only the resumption, and extension, of those past gains in democratization, that are now in jeopardy, can any longer prevent their complete annihilation.

Now, only the extension of political democracy to encompass political-economic democracy, as defined below, can save even political democracy, and then only by also advancing political democracy beyond anything it ever was -- or could have been -- before, within the ‘‘‘real subsumption’’’ of all other/earlier-extant social relations [of production] by the capital-relation[-of-production].



Hypothesis B

A Progressive Negation of Capital-Value, and of The Exchange-Value in General, means a Dialectical Negation Thereof.  What we seek is also an «aufheben» conservation/elevation/transformation/ ‘‘‘real subsumption’’’ of prior value-forms, not their absolute abolition, i.e., not their undialectical / abstract negation.

When the pre-capitalist ‘money-praxis’, and the pre-capitalist money form of [exchange-]value, emerged from out of the ‘self-densifying’ expanded self-reproduction of the pre-capitalist ‘commodity/barter-praxis’, and form of value, the “commodity-relation[-of-production]” was not abolished.

On the contrary, it was «aufheben»-conserved and «aufheben»-transformed in and by the ‘money-praxis’.

It was mediated and subsumed by and as the pre-capitalist money-catalyzed “circulation-praxis”, i.e., by the ‘money-mediated-circulation of commodities’.

The ‘commodity-barter praxis’, the “commodity-relation” as social relation of production, emerged because it had use-value for the human agents of that epoch of human political economy.

The commodity-form continued to have use-value for them when it was superseded, as the ‘meristemal’ social relation of production, by the “money-relation[-of-production]” -- the ‘commodity-barter-relation’ as subordinated to and as ‘‘‘subsumed by’’’, or ‘‘‘appropriated by’’’, that successor social relation of production, called “money”.

The ‘commodity barter-relation’ first emerged as a new value-«species» of ‘goods-value’; of “use-value”; i.e., of “use”; of “utility” — as an ‘‘‘indirect use’’’, or exchange-use of goods [i.e., as a new mode of use of goods produced by one’s own «locus», to -- via barter-trading transactions -- acquire other goods produced by other «loci», if perhaps not by one's own] -- in contrast to, and as an alternative opportunity to, the ‘‘‘direct use’’’, or ‘‘‘direct consumption use’’’ of the same goods.
 
When the productivity -- “productive force” -- of one’s own community in producing a given good made it available in such abundance as to make part of its volume useless there, trading that “surplus” volume with other communities, where it was still scarce/produced with low productivity, in return for a good that was still scarce/produced with low productivity in one’s own community, became a better use for that surplus volume of that good, than keeping it -- e.g., storing it, or letting it lay about unused until deteriorated -- or discarding it.

But this new «species» of ‘‘‘exchange-use value’’’ grew so ‘socially-large’, relative to the old «species» of ‘goods-value’/’gifts-value’, as the communities’ productive forces increased more generally, that this new «species» of the uses of goods came to inaugurate a new «genos» in its own right, the «genos» of [initially commodity-barter-based] ‘‘exchange-value’’’.

Still later, but again, when the ‘capital-praxis’, and the capital form of [exchange-]value, emerged from out of the ‘self-densifying’ expanded self-reproduction of the ‘money praxis’ and form of value, via the further growth of the force of social  reproduction, the “money-relation-of-production” was not abolished, nor even was money’s predecessor form of value, and social relation of production -- the “commodity-relation-of-production” -- abolished.

On the contrary, the ‘money-praxis’ and the ‘commodity-praxis’ were both «aufheben»-conserved and «aufheben»-transformed in and by the ‘capital-praxis’.
  
Both commodity and money were subsumed by the capital-catalyzed ‘‘‘capital-circulation/capital-reproduction-praxis and capital-reproduction-process’’’, e.g., as “money-capital and as “commodity-capital, respectively.

The ‘money-praxis’, the “money-relation” as social relation of production, emerged because it had use-value for the human agents of that epoch of human political economy.

The money-form continued to have use-value when it was superseded, as the ‘meristemal’ [the “leading-edge”, “growing-edge”, or “vanguard”] social relation of production, by the “capital-relation”.

The ‘money-relation’ was subordinated to and as ‘‘‘subsumed by’’’, or ‘‘‘appropriated by’’’, that successor social relation of production, called “capital”.

The ‘money-relation’, before it ever could become a new «genos» of exchange-value in its own right, first emerged as a new value-«species» of ‘commodity-value’; of ‘barter-value’ -- in the form of the protracted historical series of ‘‘‘money-commodities’’’.

The role of a ‘‘‘money-commodity’’’ tended, eventually, to devolve upon the ‘gold-commodity’, or upon another ‘‘‘commoditized’’’ “precious metal”, given the money-functions-advantageous physical characteristics of such metals, as the form of use-value in terms of which the exchange-values -- eventually, the prices -- of all other commodities could best be expressed, forming a “universal equivalent” medium of expression for the exchange-values of all other commodities.

But this new «species» of ‘‘‘exchange-value’’’ soon grew so ‘socially-large’, relative to the old «species» of ‘commodity-barter exchange-value’, that it came to inaugurate a new «genos» in its own right, the «genos» of ‘‘monetary exchange-values’’’, or of, e.g., ‘‘‘gold-weight-expressed prices’’’.

Next in this progression of human ‘social relations of production’, the ‘capital-relation’ first emerged as a new value-«species» of ‘‘‘money-value’’’, and of the ‘‘‘money-mediated circulation of commodities’’’ -- namely, as an inversion of that money-mediated ‘circulation-praxis’, of the trading-sequence, i.e., of the ‘alienation-sequence’, or of the ‘circulation-sequence’ of ownership, the partial replacement of the ‘‘‘commodity → money → different commodity’’’ praxis, by the reversed exchange-sequence, ‘alienation-sequence’, or ‘circulation-sequence’ of “mercantile capital”:  ‘“money → commodity → more money”’, wherein the aim of the latter sequence of the “sellings”, or “alienations”, of property is no longer the acquisition of a different commodity, but the acquisition of profit, of more money than was advanced, or “invested”, at the start of the latter ‘circulation-sequence’.

Thus, the capital form was initially confined to circulation, in the forms of a mercantile capitalism, and/or of a money-lending, “usurers’ capitalism, both representing sub-«species» of capital that initially had primarily only a parasitical relation to production, and that only ‘form-ally”’ dominated, subsumed, or re-shaped the production-processes of goods/commodities.

Only later, in the forms of the vast latifundial slave-labor-based plantations of the ancient Mediterranean world, and of the late medieval/early modern Americas, both producing agricultural commodities for sale on a large-scale, to markets approaching a world-wide level of expanse, did capital -- did human beings as the agents of the capital-praxis -- began to re-shape human production in its own image.

Indeed, only with the advent of the modern wage-labor version / sub-«species» of the capital-relation -- of the non-slavery-based selling of labor-capability in return for a wage; of the alienation of work-capability and of work-life-time -- and, thus, with the emergence of “industrial capitalism” -- did the capital-relation come to real-ly” dominate and subsume, and to comprehensively re-shape, to its own requirements, the human production-process; the human labor-process.

That is, this new «species» of ‘‘‘exchange-value’’’ grew so ‘socially-large’, with the further growth of the self-reproductive force of human society, relative to the old «species» of ‘money-commodity exchange-value’, and of the ‘commodity-barter exchange-value’ that came before it, and that still continued, that this new “capital” «species» of value came to inaugurate a new «genos» in its own right, the «genos» of ‘‘‘capital-value’’’; of ‘the auto-catalytic form of [exchange-]value’; of ‘‘‘money-which-makes-more-money’’’, or of ‘‘‘profit-making money’’’, and of self-compounding ‘profit-making profit’.


Likewise, when the ‘capital-praxis’, the capital form of [exchange-]value, or capital as ‘meristemal’ social relation of production, is superseded, subsumed by, and subordinated to, its successor social relation of production, it will not and cannot be immediately and absolutely abolished, i.e., it cannot be abstractly negated, but it will be dialectically negated; «aufheben»-negated -- conserved, elevated, transformed, and subsumed in and by a new «species» of human social relations [of production], a new «species» of human[e] values, which will have grown up from within it, growing out of it, to the point of outgrowing it, and beyond, thus to superseding it, becoming a new «genos» in its own right.

The ‘capital-praxis’, the “capital-relation” as predominant social relation of production, the capital form of [exchange-]value, was always, from its very inception, problematic, “self-contradictory”.

Moreover, it becomes ever more so, throughout its historical self-development, ultimately becoming ‘un-practice-able’, whether or not that ‘im-practice-ability’ manifests in the form of its supersession, or in the form of ‘‘‘the mutual ruin of the contending classes’’’, and of the collapse into a “New Dark Age”.

But the “capital-relation” was never a useless, never an avoidable as ‘‘‘instar’’’ of human-species progression -- never without merit as a transient, transitory, and transitional means of achieving growth of the social self-force of social reproduction, actualized as expanded human social reproduction, to the point of achieving escape-velocity from the “attractor” of the “capital-relation”, and the capital-centered form of alienated-human society.

Nor will it become absolutely useless after its ‘‘‘real subsumption’’’ by its immanent successor as ‘meristemal’ social relation of production.

It will, in particular, remain an indispensable source of economic “checks-and-balances”, against the abuse of monopoly -- against the catastrophic collapse of product and service-product use-value and safety -- that predictably arises from monopolies of supply.

E.g., the conservation of a competitive market for consumer goods produced by competing producer-stewarded and producer-democratically-managed enterprises will conserve that economic “check-and-balance”, protecting producer-consumers and their families from monopoly abuses -- either by state-managed monopoly enterprises such as have already, in human history, demonstrated their propensity for abuse -- or by others among the associated producers, e.g., by monopoly producers-cooperatives.
What is ‘essence-ial’ to the successor system of human sociality is that the “capital-relation” be no longer allowed to seize, to attempt to organize, the social-reproductive totality; that the “capital-relation” be subsumed by, subordinated to, and contained within its successor social relation of production, that of ‘political-economic democracy, as defined below.


Hypothesis C

The Transition from Capitalism to Democratic Communism is a Dialectical, that is, an «Aufheben», Transition.  ‘‘‘Democratic-Communist Society’’’, or ‘realized political-economy’, i.e., political-economic democracy, will arise, not by the abolition / abstract negation of the capital «species» of equity -- of ‘‘‘capital-equity’’’, ‘internality-equity’, or “capital equity stock” / “joint-stock-company” “stockholder democracy” — and of the capitalist market, but by the dialectical, or selfaufheben» negation, i.e., by the conservation/elevation/transformation, of that initial, «arché species» of “equity”, that is, via ‘‘‘further speciation’’’ within the “equity” «genos», beyond its first, “capital equity” «species».

This means the completion of the «genos»’ of equity -- via the emergence and development of additional «species» of the “equity” «genos», and via the ‘‘‘real domination’’’, or ‘‘‘real subsumption’’’, of that «arché species» of the ‘generalized equity’ «genos», namely, of the ‘capital-equity’, or ‘internality equity’, «species», by those successor /progressor «species» of the “equity” «genos», namely, by those «species» of generalized equity for which we use the following names --

  • The Citizen Externality Equity «species» of the equity «genos»;

  • The Citizen Birthright Equity «species» of the equity «genos»;

  • The Citizen Stewardship Equity «species» of the equity «genos»;

  • The Citizen Allocational Equity «species» of the equity «genos»

-- as defined in the sequel.



Hypothesis D

Human-Social Production Requires Human-Social Pre-Imagination.  In Capital (vol. I), Marx wrote the following about the human process of production -- in contra-distinction to the processes of all of the «species» within the «genos» of the ‘‘‘social animals’’’ -- as a process that requires the human pre-imagination of the product which is to be produced, and also as an ontological, dialectical ‘‘‘internal contradiction of’’’, or ‘‘‘self-contradiction within’’’, Nature, i.e., as an ‘intra-duality’ of Nature -- of Nature conceived as maximal self-developing, dialectical totality:

Labour is, in the first place, a process in which both man and [other parts of -- M.D.] Nature participate, and in which man of his own accord starts, regulates, and controls the material reactions between himself and [other parts of -- M.D.] Nature.  He opposes himself to [other parts of -- M.D.] Nature as one of her own forces, setting in motion arms and legs, head and hands, the natural forces of his own body, in order to appropriate Nature's [other -- M.D.] productions in a form adapted to his own wants.  By thus acting on the external world, [i.e., on parts of Nature external to its human[ized] part(s) -- M.D.] and changing it, he at the same time [self-reflexively, self-refluxively acts upon himself and -- M.D.] changes his own nature.  He develops his slumbering powers and compels them to act in obedience to his sway.  We are not now dealing with those primitive instinctive forms of labour that remind us of the mere animal.  An immeasurable interval of time separates the state of things in which a man brings his labour-power to market for sale as a commodity, from that state in which human labour was still in its first instinctive stage.   We pre-suppose labour in a form that stamps it as exclusively human.  A spider conducts operations that resemble those of a weaver, and a bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction of her cells.  But what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality.  At the end of every labour process, we get a result that already existed in the imagination of the labourer at its commencement.  He not only effects a change of form in the material on which he works, but he also realizes a purpose of his own that gives the law to his modus operandi, and to which he must subordinate his will.

-- [Karl Marx, CapitalA Critique of Political Economy (vol. I), ‘‘‘The Productions-Process of/by Capitals’’’,; International Publishers Co., Inc. (NY:  1967), pages 177-178, emphasis added by M.D.].


We hold that the above considerations apply also to the process of the conscious human production of new social relations of [human society's self-re-]production -- in particular, to the process of our creation of ‘democratic-communist’ society, as a way out of the “lawful” descent of late global capitalism into the hell of humanocidal totalitarian state-capitalism -- from out of the materials of capital-relation society, and also out of those of the surviving/subsumed previous social relations of human society-production.

If the conception of ‘democratic-communist society’ -- of its ‘‘‘historical-specificity’’’; of its social form as an ‘historical species’, a ‘temporal species’ of human-species development; of its ‘‘‘historically-specific’’’ social relation of production -- could be rightfully said to have been acceptably left in partial ‘vaguery’ during the times of, and in the works of, Marx and Engels -- both those they published and, to the extent known to date, those that they left unpublished -- under the argument that it was still too early, in the history of the “capital-relation”, to determine the determinations of its successor social relation of production in detail, the same can no longer be rightfully said today.

Situated, as we are, deep in the descendant phase of the global «Kapitals»-system, a descendant phase that began circa 1907, over a hundred years ago; situated, as we are, at the very extremity of human prehistory, on the precipice of the great transition -- or of ‘‘‘the mutual ruin of the contending classes’’’, and with it, the ruin of the human species and of the biosphere of this planet entire -- we can no longer afford such a luxury of ignorance.

Relying on ‘‘‘spontaneity’’’, on the ‘‘‘spontaneous discoveries’’’ of “the masses” in action, after the fact of their initiating global social revolution, is, quite simply, nothing but a recipe for catastrophe.

It is a careless and irresponsible «de facto» call to maximize the “transitional” loss of life that is already burgeoning world-wide, via the ruling class’s many ‘stealth genocide’ programs/pogroms, and to consign “the masses” to horrible deaths -- all for nought.  

On the contrary, social revolutionaries, to be worthy of that name, must do everything within their -- admittedly limited -- power to absolutely minimize the cost in loss of human life of the transition to a “post-prehistoric”, higher form of human[e] life.

We, they -- the peoples of the Earth -- must know in advance, in detail, what we are fighting for, what we are trying to build, or else we can never even get started; we cannot even begin to form any coherent programme, or strategy.

“The masses” are no dummies, doomed to service the ‘«noir»ist’ phantasy-romances of ‘intellectualoid’ Little Lord Fauntleroys, by obligingly -- and “spontaneously” -- spilling their blood by the billions to feed those ‘intellectualoids’ ’ fetid phantasy-lives!

The people of Earth will not risk everything, will not start a world revolution, based upon the directionless vagaries of the present anti-Leninist, anti-Stalinist left, that would merely risk even more chaos -- and, thence, via demands for the restoration of “order”, the handing over of their lives, and of what little social defenses, rights, and protections they have left, to the tender mercies of Lenino-Trotskyoid, Stalinoid, and/or Stalino-Maoid totalitarian state-capitalists, or, far more likely, and even worse -- with a vengeance -- to the now naked “iron fists” of the ‘Meta-Nazi’ totalitarian state-capitalists of the present global ruling class, who already rule them, with ever-more frayed “velvet gloves”.

“We” have already tried “spontaneity”:  Germany, 1918.

Workers driving back and forth in trucks, shaking rifles in the air, didn't cut it.

Such ritualisms and such incantations did not conjure up ‘democratic communism’.

Instead, they gave us the failure of the German ‘democratic communist revolution.

That, in turn, gave us the degeneration of any hope of a Russian ‘democratic communist revolution, which would have required the support of the advanced productive forces that would have been available to a German ‘political-economic democracy.

  
That, in turn, gave us Stalin.

That, in turn, gave us Hitler.

That, in turn, gave us the world of today, in which “socialism [in one country]” -- in which “[national] socialism” -- is so discredited, by Hitler, by Lenin, by Trotsky, by Stalin, and by Mao, ad nauseam, that real ‘‘‘democratic socialism’’’ -- ‘political-economic democracy -- the only hope of a “Way Forward” for humanity, is refused even cursory consideration by so many of us, crippling the chances for survival of humanity as a whole.

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