Capitalism is a world system. Looked at as such, I don't know how we can
doubt that at the present time the rich are getting richer and the poor are
getting steadily poorer. What Marx called the "general law of capitalist
accumulation" applies to the relations of regions and countries as well as
to classes within those regions and countries. Marcuse was wrong -- he was
generalizing from what turned out to be a unique moment in postwar
capitalism which is going, going, gone now -- and Marx was right. I don't
think this is "dogma". It's supported empirically by every statistical
piece of evidence I've seen. Even in the U.S. where some portion of the
working class (Marx's "labor aristocracy") has benefited materially from the
proceeds of imperialism, wages in real terms have gone down since the 1970s.
For the Revolution,
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 7:19 PM
Subject: [sixties-l] Re: Jacobs on Global Capitalism
> Dear Ron,
> I am about as rad as they come and, like you, a student/scholar of the
> mostmilitant wing of the New Left. Yes, the murder in Genoa is horrble,
> reveals the ugliest face of what is in many ways a brutal world economic
> But I must say: I would have thought your studies of Weatherman would have
> convinced you that complex analysis is more helpful than macho,
> anti-imperialist sloganeering. The world, alas, has grown vastly more
> complicated than your cookie-cutter radicalism acknowledges. Ever heard
> nuance? Mediation? um, Marcuse, who wisely noted that the dichotomy of
> super-rich and super-poor no longer describes "advanced" forms of
> and that any genuinely radical movement would have to start from premises
> other than those of a crude and antedated Marxism?
> Yes, Capitalism kills. But what does it mean to even say that?!!
> socialism, fascism, and likely most other isms by which states have been
> organized kill too, if we look to Hungary in 56, Prague in 1968, Hitler
> his dreadful tenure, and so on.
> And who is a "capitalist" anyhow? Any businessperson who generates, um,
> capital? What about folks invested in the stock market? Are you aware
> labor unions are the biggest institutional investors in the Stock Market
> pension fund portfolios? And what about the tens of millions of
> many of modest means, somehow in the market? Are they all "killers" too?
> And do you REALLY THINK that "global capitalism" is somehow the exclusive
> cause of poverty and disease wordwide?
> Look, I've marched, sang, demonstrated, written, petitioned, been locked
> indicted, abused on behalf of the cause. Solidarity and all the rest.
> please, don't use righteousness to mask a lack of intellectual curiosity
> about the world we live in (not the virtual world of ultra-left
> or even your own analytical limitations. One of those former Weatherfolk,
> whom I've interviewed, confessed that he is now "allergic to dogma." We
> should all develop such allergies, and save our precious health for an
> and intelligent fight.
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