Psychological evolution, where did that come from? Well there is the science of evolutionary psychology but that’s something different. I’ve inverted the two words and wrote them in response to my reading what might be a defining, at least for me, tract by Yanis Varoufakis. More of this later. Still not sure what I mean by the words though.
One of the many reasons I love Kate is her humane understanding of her dysfunctional husband. Whilst I witter on about something or other she simply says to me to stop beating myself up, try and relax and concentrate on getting better. With those few words she gives me permission to stop worrying so much about things I can’t sort now and focus on the more immediate and important issue of getting better.
On the issue of which my throat while not very painful feels annoyingly blocked.
My brain is abuzz as it cogitates and contemplates what I’ve just read by Mr Yanis. There’s a newish addition to the Grauniad called Journal (it’s a long read, like WordPress classify my blog). I suppose I’m fairly typical in that it takes a while to get used to change and the addition of a ‘long read’ upsets my usual paper reading routine, it means having to invest quite a lot more to read something different and relatively long and I’ve only really read a couple so far.
Anyway today has “How I Became an Erratic Marxist” by Mr Varoufakis, he’s the new Greek finance minister. I’ve only read the first third but already it has caused me great cogitation. His analysis of capitalism’s most recent upheaval causes him to wonder whether it is an opportunity to replace capitalism with a better alternative or to ‘stabilise European capitalism’? He, and I, would welcome the former but he thinks the second is the best route to take. His reason is that it is less likely that a better alternative is produced than “to unleash dangerously regressive forces that have the capacity to cause a humanitarian bloodbath”. Obvious shadows of nazism and the ukip mockumentary the other night also strongly suggested the unleashing of horrific nationalist forces if the grinning gargoyle came to power.
So, Yanis proposes trying to save the current “repugnant European capitalism” in order to buy time to develop an alternative.
He then goes on about how he worked with papandreou, Greek prime minister of a few years ago in the hope that he could help avoid extreme right wingers take power. papandreou not only failed in this respect as golden dawn was spawned but also introduced neoliberal policies that hastened the crisis in 2008. Yanis resigned in 2006 when he realised the way things were going.
But why does an avowed Marxist not propose Marxist remedies? Well Yanis uses Marx’s analysis of the inherent contradictions in capitalism to explain it’s failings. So his argument is that we need to show why capitalism is failing and to have this accepted before we can move on to alternatives. Marx developed dialectic materialism (hey, good old dialectics, dialogue eh?) and applied this to labour, and this is the inherent problem with capitalism. The Marxist labour dialectic is:
1. “labour as a value-creating activity that can never be quantified in advance (and therefore can never be commodified)”. I think true entrepreneurialism represents this, bring on Mr Dyson as an exemplar again, when he began his designs who could predict what wealth might be created?
2. “labour as a quantity (eg. number of hours worked) that is for sale”. This is what the kleptos and bbs exploit in their simplistic profit boosting ways, always auditing and trying to measure and quantify everything. Summed up beautifully by ‘the cost of everything and the value of nothing’.
This dialectic runs through capitalism like a stick of rock: and the joint production of 1 and 2 produces “debt and surplus, growth and unemployment, of wealth and poverty, indeed of good and evil”. It is evidenced, for example, with the mountainous debts and banking losses on one side and the massive deposits of money banks and corporations are sitting on the other side. Likewise the obscene wealth of a few kleptos on one side and the relative poverty of the rest of us on the other side.
Thing is, as Yanis states, if “workers and capitalists ever succeed in commodifying labour fully, capitalism will perish”, no value added you see as in 1.
And we go through all the pathetic dancing to maintain this grossly unfair system such as last week’s waltz around hsbc and the kleptos tax theft.
Writing of hsbc it was very interesting to hear and read about the torygraph’s chief political commentator Peter Oborne resigning, thanks for link Mark B https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/peter-oborne/why-i-have-resigned-from-telegraph. He was already very concerned about the way the paper was changing under the ownership of the weird kleptos the barclay brothers, but the final straw was their almost non-existent coverage of the hsbc story last week (until some Labour party donors were implicated). Mainly because hsbc are a big advertiser in the torygraph and it’s the kleptos and bbs conspiring to keep the truth from us plebeians. In his resignation letter Obone castigates all the major newspaper groups, especially murdoch’s, except for “the magnificent exception of the Guardian”. Would be quite easy to perform a Marxist dialectic dissection of the current travails of the torygraph as an example of capitalist failings.
Also check out Jo’s recent comment in which she gives links to money alternatives. This is written about today (are we just ahead of the curve or what?) by George Monbiot who writes about the Austrian town of WÖrgl that in the 1930’s depression introduced something called stamp scrip (developed by economist Silvio Gesell) that used limited money in a different and more creative way such that the town was soon booming in many ways until the government took fright, shut it down and depression soon returned to the town. Read about it via Jo’s link: http://opengov.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Natural-money-the-most-efficient-monetary-system/4904-4049
If anyone has made it this far I’m impressed. I’m now going to read and try and understand the rest of Mr Yanis’ essay, still slightly glowing in my Marxist epiphany, uh oh a fall looms………
I was sadly getting a little down as viewing figures for my blog were steadily going down each week, but suddenly over the last two days there’s been an explosion, what’s happening?
- apply Marxist dialectical analysis to all our current economic woes and present that to the people.
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.