Saturday, March 30, 2013

Part 2. of 8.: Political-ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY



Dear Readers,

This blog-entry contains the
second part of my serialization, within this blog, of the E.A.g.’s [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 [see item 6, “Universal Property”, in text at:  http://www.equitist.org/Equitist/InternalAffairs/InternalAffairs.htm  ], 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 itself [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 --

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



Regards,

Miguel












Part 2. of 8. --

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



Alternative

 

Marx:  Joint-Stock Equity Capital as the Perfected Form of Capital, Transitional to 'Democratic Communism' [i.e., to Marxian Democracy]


In the context of this subject-matter, we find it profoundly informative to see what Marx actually had to say, in the very core, and in the final “volume”, of his written works, about the immanent emergence — from out of the very heart of the capital-relation itself — of the core social relation of production of 'democratic communist' society, i.e., of what we call Marxian [complete] Democracy, or Political-Economic Democracy, in the transition from capital-relation-based society to 'democratic communist' society --

"The general remarks, which the credit system so far elicited from us, were the following: ...

III. Formation of stock companies. Thereby: ...

3) Transformation of the actually functioning capitalist into a mere manager, administrator of other people's capital, and of the owner of capital into a mere owner, a mere money-capitalist.  Even if the dividends which they receive include the interest and the profit of enterprise, i.e., the total profit (for the salary of managers is, or should be, simply the wage of a specific type of skilled labour, whose price is regulated in the labour-market like that of any other labour), this total profit is henceforth received only in the form of interest, i.e., as mere compensation for owning capital that is now entirely divorced from the function in the actual process of reproduction, just as this function in the person of the manager is divorced from ownership of capital. ...

In stock companies the function is divorced from capital ownership, hence also labour is entirely divorced from ownership of means of production and surplus-labour.  This result of the ultimate development of capitalist production is a necessary transitional phase towards the reconversion of capital into the property of producers, although no longer as the private property of the individual producers, but rather as the property of associated producers, as outright social property.  On the other hand, the stock company is a transition toward the conversion of all functions in the reproduction process which still remain linked with capitalist property, into mere functions of the associated producers, into social functions.

This is the abolition of the capitalist mode of production within the capitalist mode of production itself, and hence a self-dissolving contradiction, which prima facie represents a mere phase of transition to a new form of production.  It manifests itself as such a contradiction in its effects.  It establishes a monopoly in certain spheres and thereby requires state interference.  It reproduces a new financial aristocracy, a new variety of parasites in the shape of promoters, speculators, and simply nominal directors; a whole system of swindling and cheating by means of corporation promoting, stock issuance, and stock speculation. It is private production without the control of private property. ...

The co-operative factories of the labourers themselves represent within the old form the first sprouts of the new, although they naturally reproduce, and must reproduce, everywhere in their actual organization all the shortcomings of the prevailing system.  But the antithesis between capital and labour is overcome within them, if at first only by way of making the associated labourers into their own capitalist, i.e., by enabling them to use the means of production for the employment of their own labour [we call this transitional form 'workers' capital[ism]' — E.A.g.].

They show how a new mode of production naturally grows out of an old one, when the development of the material forces of production and of the corresponding forms of social production have reached a particular stage. Without the factory system arising out of the capitalist mode of production there could have been no co-operative factories. Nor could these have developed without the credit system arising out of the same mode of production. The credit system is not only the principal basis for the gradual transformation of capitalist enterprises into capitalist stock companies, but equally offers the means for the gradual extension of co-operative enterprises on a more or less national scale.  [in the case of today’s Mondragon co-operatives, an international scale -- M.D.] ...

The capitalist stock companies, as much as the co-operative factories, should be considered transitional forms from the capitalist mode of production to the associated one, with the only distinction that the antagonism is resolved negatively in the one, and positively in the other. ...

The credit system appears as the main lever of over-production and over-speculation in commerce solely because the reproduction process, which is elastic by nature, is here forced to its extreme limits, and is so forced because a large part of the social capital is employed by people who do not own it, and who consequently tackle things quite differently than the owner, who anxiously weighs the limitations of his private capital in so far as he handles it himself.

This simply demonstrates the fact that the self-expansion of capital based on the contradictory nature of capitalist production permits an actual free development only up to a certain point, so that in fact it constitutes an immanent fetter and barrier to production, which is continually broken through by the credit system.

Hence, the credit system accelerates the material development of the productive forces and the establishment of the world-market.  [M.D.:  Until the descendance phase of the capitals-system “lawfully” manifests as the defense against technodepreciation-driven, ‘dis-profitable-ization’-motivated, and capital-value-annihilation-motivated, global war against the productive forces, by the ruling, finance/energy [i.e., oil] plutocracy, as we have seen, in which capital becomes “an immanent fetter and barrier” to any further growth, or even to any mere maintenance, of the level of ‘the social self-force of societal self-reproduction’ with a vengeance!].

It is the historical mission of the capitalist system of production to raise the material foundations of the new mode of production to a certain degree of perfection.

At the same time credit accelerates the violent eruption of this contradictioncrises — and thereby the elements of disintegration of the old mode of production.

The two characteristics immanent in the credit system are, on the one hand, to develop the incentive of capitalist production, enrichment through the exploitation of the labour of others, to the purest and most colossal form of gambling and swindling, and to reduce more and more the number of the few who exploit the social wealth; on the other hand, to constitute the form of transition to a new mode of production.

It is this ambiguous nature, which endows the principal spokesmen of credit from Law to Isaac Pereire with the pleasant character mixture of swindler and prophet."

[Karl Marx; Capital:  A Critique of Political Economy (vol. III), ‘‘‘The Shapes Taken-On by The Reproductions-Process of/by Capitals Overall’’’, Chapter XXVII, “The Role of Credit in Capitalist Production”; International Publishers Co., Inc. (NY:  1967); pages 435-441; bold, italic, colored, and underlined emphasis added by E.A.g. and M.D.]


At almost the earliest, opposite end of Marx’s career as a dialectical, immanent critic of the ideology-vitiated science of capitalist classical political economy, in a letter to Engels [Marx to Engels, April 2, 1858, in MEW 29, page 312, reproduced in Rubel on MarxFive Essays; Cambridge University Press (NY:   1981), page 216], Marx writes of the planned structure of his critique of the political economy of the system of «kapitals», with even greater explicitude regarding the transitional character of the emergence of the “share capital” «species», i.e. the “capital equity stock” «species», of the social relation of production called “capital” --

"Capital is divided into four sections.
  1. Capital en général [in Fr.] (This is the material of the first brochure). [M.D.:  systematic-dialectical, method-of-presentation-al first thesis category.]
  2. Competition or the reciprocal action of the many capitals.  [M.D.:  ‘presentational’ first contra-thesis category -- ‘reverse-«aufheben»’-descent de-meta-monadization decomposition of 1.].
  3. Credit, where capital appears as the general element in opposition to the many capitals.  [M.D.:  presentational first uni-thesis category -- ‘‘‘complex unity’’’, ‘categorial hybridization’,  or dialectical synthesis of 2 with 1.].
  4. Share capital as the most perfect form (assuming the character of communism), together with all its contradictions.  [M.D.:  ‘presentational’ second contra-thesis category -- the ‘combination of capitals opposite to competition of capitals character of 2.]
[bold, italic, colored, and underlined emphasis added by E.A.g. and M.D.]."


What are we to make of these positings, by Marx, of capital equity stock, and of its ‘‘‘stockholder democracy’’’, as a close kin to ‘‘the associated mode of production’’’, i.e., to democratic communism, or to Marxian Democracy?

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