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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #242 - Read Ernst Lohoff and Norbert Trenkle "The Great Devaluation" (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:40:59 +0300


In an essay recently translated The Great Devaluation , Ernst Lohoff and Norbert Trenkle return to the main concepts that allow to criticize capitalism. down a portion of the left, they deliver a special analysis of the current crisis and claims should be made in that context. ---- The recent crisis has opened a new era for capitalism, darker, potentially disastrous, and endless noticeable. In light of this and in spite of all that separates them, the Left Opposition shares with the establishment one essential conviction: the recession would result misuse of wealth. It does not originate in capitalism and its operation. Thus, the ruling class and its representatives believe that wealth-money is spent unwisely when it feeds the coffers, while the radical left denounced his alleged embezzlement in the equity hedge paris. It's criticizing this approach of misuse or poor distribution of wealth that are striving between the two other authors: Norbert Trenkle and Ernst Lohoff, both involved in the German magazine Krisis - Contributions to the Critique of the company production of goods, founded in 1986 In this they are part of the work of Robert Kurz, co-founder of Krisis, who died in 2012, and which you can read in the introduction to his work still not translated into French Lives and Death of Capitalism , published 2011 editions Lines.

What is wealth?

Of course, the distribution of wealth has changed since the neoliberal turn in favor of the holders of capital. But because of it is deeper than what is normally accepted. When our authors say that with some other crisis in finance is fundamentally a capitalist, not to "make revolutionary" or just mention the antagonism of classes and the balance of power that underlies . Capitalism is a system for individual operation. The first part of the book is devoted to the explanation of the categories that historically and specifically based capitalism: commodity, value, abstract labor, money, etc. To illuminate the problem of sharing the wealth, the use of these categories seems appropriate.

Indeed, what is meant in this case by "wealth" whose false transparency must be dissipated? Do you think the wealth in money and goods related to the purchase and sale transactions, or for the substantial wealth, material, represented by goods and services that satisfy human needs effectively? In short, do we speak of abstract wealth or real wealth? Share at the time of the crisis? As can be understood, wealth can not be shared until they have been produced. But should be refined: wealth-money is "shared" if it can thereby be increased. We see from there what would be formidable difficulties posed if wealth-money for some reason was the erosion function of capital, the transformation function of a sum of money in a sum of money more large. It is precisely this situation that happens: commodities, forms of wealth-money needs to be put on possibly increased, undergo a "devaluation" bottomless since we have reached the stage of information technology and communication . Indeed, once established with Marx that the source of the value of goods is the cost of labor, devaluation can be understood as consisting of an increasing reduction in the amount of work contained in the goods (to capture first approximation this idea of labor value, we can imagine a world where production would be fully automated).

Neoliberal greater inequality

Where in optimal phases, capitalists reinvest a significant portion of profit in the business growth and therefore employment, in the phases of decline as one called "neoliberalism", they no longer do so with the same enthusiasm . To account for the neoliberal exacerbation of inequalities must be invoked in addition to social selfishness of the rich - which merely part of the left - the major structural due to the decline in the contribution of labor in the production of goods and the corresponding inefficiency in productive investment.

More goods, less work

According to the two authors claim the sharing of wealth exerts immediate seduction, but in terms of the type of wealth it is under capitalism, this claim is actually little sense. It simplifies pretending that sharing was mainly questioned on a political level or somehow betrayed. Fordist capitalism to financial capitalism, which was decisive is the evolution of technology and productivity challenges presented expand markets accordingly and not only ideological conversions, any renewed brutality in the behavior of capitalists or natural bureaucratization of unions. In a world where a growing mass of commodities is still produced with less labor, limits must be met and establish itself as insurmountable except to exert violence bottomless what will work with vigor and commitment powerful. The happy ending demanded by a party of the left in the form of a reconciliation between capital and labor allegedly prevented by finance can not take place.

What wealth for what society?

The financialization of the economy consisted of the establishment of a vast decentralized credit system to overcome the structural difficulties of the post-Fordist capitalism. But the lever massive debt to boost an economy that no longer found itself springs from a self-sustained growth has deteriorated considerably with the crisis of 2007, remains subject of the second and the third part of the book. In short, the authors maintain that the only sharing it must demand is that which deals with sensitive material and wealth.

Wil (AL Paris Northeast)
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