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[Xmca-l] Re: YV, Marxism and revolution

Here I leave some marxists reflections about the Greek situation.
Juan D.

Reflections regarding Greece10/02/2015
[image: Reflections regarding Greece]
ARGENTINA <http://www.ft-ci.org/PTS-Partido-de-los-Trabajadores?lang=en>
TRANSLATORYOSEF M. <http://www.ft-ci.org/Yosef-M?lang=en>TRADUCCIONESESPAÑOL
DO BRASIL <http://www.ft-ci.org/Reflexoes-sobre-a-Grecia?lang=pt_br>


*Reflections regarding Greece*

Greece is a supreme example of the accumulated effects of the world
economic crisis. As the editorial writer of the Financial Times, Martin
Wolf, indicates, unemployment has reached 26%, and the GDP is also 26%
below its peak before the crisis of 2008. The expenditure of Greek society
on goods and services has shrunk by at least an accumulated 40%. According
to Paul Krugman, the "domestic devaluation" that took place in the Hellenic
country, as a result of the fall in wages, and therefore, of the unit labor
costs, reaches 16%.

Greece, in the first place, is, together with Spain, one of the countries
of Europe that has most severely suffered the destruction of productive
forces on its terrain. It is among the main victims of the "austerity"
policies promoted and fundamentally defended by Germany. It is not by
chance that Syriza – in which large groups of the wearied masses put their
hopes – won the Greek elections, nor is the growth of the intention to vote
for Podemos in the Spanish State, facing the collapse of the PSOE and the
Partido Popular, accidental.

*Creative destruction*

In Europe and especially in the Eurozone, deflationary trends have been put
into place, that, according a recent analysis of The Economist, could be
making way for a lost decade even worse than that of Japan in the 1990’s.
The recent QE (a plan of quantitative easing), approved by the European
Central Bank, with German opposition, represents an attempt to counteract
this scenario. The effect of the monetary stimulus plans is well-known. In
the best of cases, they are capable of restraining an acute, precipitous
economic fall, and they can – under certain conditions, encourage weak
recoveries. They are, however, powerless to induce powerful growth and
reverse the critical structural conditions that impede more or less
vigorous cycles of increased accumulation of capital. The destruction of
productive forces, on the contrary, as neoclassical orthodoxy has
historically affirmed, – with an aura of bourgeois honesty and little
political skill, is the essence of a system that, in order to revive, needs
to destroy what has been built – "creative destruction," Schumpeter called
it. – The problem, clearly, is that this "wonder" of consistent creation,
principally in the formation of big industrial reserve armies and suffering
masses, ends up producing – in the best of cases for capital – "Greeces"
and perhaps "Spains."

*The Devil’s tail*

Whether the combination of QE in the Eurozone and the destruction –
essentially in the countries of southern Europe – will be capable, together
with the renewed policies of monetary stimulus in Japan and a possible
delaying of the increase of interest rates in the United States and in
Great Britain, of generating some type of interim recovery in Europe – an
unanswered question suggested in The tendencies of the crisis under debate
– remains to be seen. Here a more profound reflection is of interest. The
friendliness of France, Italy, and Spain for the United States is
well-known. Now the "Super Mario" – as they say of the President of the
BCE, Mario Draghi – had promised, in the conference of Central Banks, at
Jackson Hole, – on the other side of the Atlantic, and before the
accommodating look of his colleagues from the United States – a possible
monetary plan, in the American style, if it were needed.

The QE that Germany opposed, although, probably from fear of the
consequences of not implementing it, it let pass, seems to be a point that
the United States is noting down in its influence on the area. The economic
difficulties for the dollar that follow from the resulting devaluation of
the euro, could be less than the risk of an open deflation in Europe. But
the attempt at US interference appears to be being played twice. The nearly
obvious campaign of the Anglo-Saxon media, The Economist, Financial Times,
The New York Times, The Washington Post, putting pressure on Germany from
the "left" and on Tsipras from the right, seems a big playing card.


The particularly unified editorial talk, including columnists like Martin
Wolf, is attracting attention. As Josefina Martínez and Diego Lotito say
well here, the policy of release from debt, combined with structural
reforms, has been promoted for a while from the very heart of the United
States. However, this time, it would appear to be a case of a stronger bet,
to make Germany submit politically. In the first place, by wielding Tsipras
like a type of "human bomb," forcing him at the same time to turn still
more to the right (a matter that for now seems quite simple), placing
Greece as a sword of Damocles, that hangs over the future of the Eurozone
and that of the European Union, if Germany does not yield (which,
certainly, does not cease to be part of reality). They are hoping that if
pressure on Germany had an effect, Tsipras, in the words of the British
weekly The Economist, "will throw his crazy socialism into the garbage and
will accept the structural reforms in exchange for debt forgiveness." It
should be remembered that Tsipras’ "crazy socialism" consists, also in the
words of The Economist, in "his plans to rehire 12,000 public-sector
workers, give up privatization and introduce a big increase in the minimum

This "delirious madness," facing unemployment in Greece similar to that to
which in the 1930’s, the US government responded with the New Deal, would
have as a result, still in the words of The Economist, "undoing
achievements made by Greece in the area of competitiveness" ... And this
allows one to suspect a bigger bet of the United States and the Anglo-Saxon
arch, on Greece. If they stop disciplining Tsipras and forcing Germany to
submit, an understanding of QE with the destruction of productive forces
prevailing there would be achieved; Greece could – by virtue of the
extraordinary increase of the profit obtained in terms relative to other
countries – begin a cycle of economic recovery, that would certainly be
based on the domestic devaluation that Krugman is talking about.

This "takeoff of the Greek economy" that the Anglo-Saxon arch (Head Office
of neoliberalism) seems to be pursuing, is, in reality, a takeoff of the
capitalist profits. That takeoff would logically be based on labor costs
slashed by 16% and much more than that, since their market price is subject
to an army of unemployed people equivalent to 26% of the Greek population.
In addition, foreign capitals will be able to take advantage of the
privatizations in a completely devalued Greece. A booming business. Now, of
course, the key is to take advantage of the profits obtained from
"competitiveness" that are not achieved so easily. It is also worth
mentioning that The Economist considers that it is necessary to treat
Greece like an African country in bankruptcy.


Beginning with its alliance with the nationalist party of the xenophobic
right wing, "Independent Greeks," and the appointment of the main leader of
that party in the Ministry of Defense, Syriza has sent multiple messages.
Among them, that, to implement a program increasingly washed in continual
devaluation, it has no intention – restating something that was already
quite clear – of relying on the mobilization of the workers’ movement and
of the masses. The latter is a limit to its ascription to the European
Union, as is also explained here. The first aspect strengthens the
Anglo-Saxon front’s illusions of converting Syriza into its own tool,
seeking to transform Greece into an example of the possible recomposition
of the coexistence between "democracy" and the "markets."

The second aspect that opens the question about a possible turn of Greece
towards Russia and how far it could go, is, for now, just that, a question.
What is certain is that the United States and Great Britain are using it as
another instrument of pressure on Germany, the alliance of which with
Russia has been hit hard, beginning with the annexation of the Crimea and
the continuation of the conflict over the future of the Ukraine. Still,
nothing is said. The use of Greece as a setting for resolving
inter-imperialist relationships of force could add even more fuel to the
fire of a critical situation. The forces of the workers and the groups of
the poor and oppressed of Greece, are complete. In the coming period, they
will have their experience with this new government, as part of a process
that has recently begun.

2015-02-22 19:17 GMT-03:00 Tom Richardson <tom.richardson3@googlemail.com>:

> Xmca'ers all, esp. Annalisa
> Forgive me for a start - I cannot face reading through ALL the thread, but
> my reaction to the original UKGuardian 3-page article was very strong: I
> can summarise it this way:
>    - YV has not understood Marx.
>    - YV psychologises the capital-labour-power relation
>    - the value of labour-power *can indeed* be determined - by the wage
>    paid for it.that statement is *not* an emotionally or social
>    reproduction-costs-*true* one, but that it not what Chapter One of
>    Capital is telling us
>    - Chapter One of Capital tells us that the 'truth' of our capitalist
>    society is a social relation - the capitalist-labour-power relation,
> which
>    appears *and IS*, a relation betweeen things when it *is* "the definite
>    social relation between men themselves which assumes here, for them, the
>    fantastic relation if a relation between things
>    - YV turns this *solely *into a psycho-drama of the destruction of human
>    dignity - which it is, but
>    - that view avoids the economic, workplace and market- based realities
>    - YV then  suggests that a way can be found not too complete or
>    exacerbate the chaos that capital/ism is in at present, an to give a
> global
>    working class some time to regroup by 'saving capitalism from itself'
>    - *IF* politics and resistance could work that way, YV would be correct,
>    but what is the likelihood of the gravediggers being in a stronger
> position
>    when they have resuscitated the dying body -
>    - the extraction of surplus value from labour-power does not allow that
>    sort of concession to the exploited as far as history tells us
> So, whatever moral or emotional exhortations may be derived from YV's
> article, appreciate them, but IMO, do not accept his analysis as Marxist,,
> nor characterise Marxist thinking as *ideological, *i.e. partisan; if
> Marxism is an ideology then we Marxists are all up a very tall and sticky
> gum tree, adn as Marx says in his 'Theses on Feuerbach', our fallacies will
> be proved such by the (powerful test of) sensuous human activity!
> Tom Richardson
> Middlesbrough
> UK