• Phoenix Woman commented on the diary post Say Anything: Words Matt Entenza Lives By, Apparently by Phoenix Woman.

    2014-07-28 04:46:09View | Delete


  • Phoenix Woman commented on the blog post Pol Pottery Barns…

    2014-07-28 04:44:12View | Delete

    ‘Morning, Marion! Thanks for the brekkie.

  • Phoenix Woman commented on the blog post Pol Pottery Barns…

    2014-07-28 04:42:34View | Delete

    Exactly. She’s that cynical.

  • Well, it’s past my bedtime. Everyone behave, okay? (Not that you actually will, but I have to ask anyway. ;-)

  • Wow, I had no idea that Jackson had elected a mayor that far to the left. Tells you something about how heavy the hand of censorship is in the nationally-focused part of the American media.

  • And again, I suppose I should emphasize that even though Piketty is not a Marxist and that his book is not a Marxist book, Prof. Harvey actually finds much of value in the work, particularly the data sets provided that show that Marx was right to state that capital tends and has tended since its creation to produce ever-greater levels of inequality.

    The book has often been presented as a twenty-first century substitute for Karl Marx’s nineteenth century work of the same title. Piketty actually denies this was his intention, which is just as well since his is not a book about capital at all. It does not tell us why the crash of 2008 occurred and why it is taking so long for so many people to get out from under the dual burdens of prolonged unemployment and millions of houses lost to foreclosure. It does not help us understand why growth is currently so sluggish in the US as opposed to China and why Europe is locked down in a politics of austerity and an economy of stagnation. What Piketty does show statistically (and we should be indebted to him and his colleagues for this) is that capital has tended throughout its history to produce ever-greater levels of inequality. This is, for many of us, hardly news. It was, moreover, exactly Marx’s theoretical conclusion in Volume One of his version of Capital. Piketty fails to note this, which is not surprising since he has since claimed, in the face of accusations in the right wing press that he is a Marxist in disguise, not to have read Marx’s Capital.

  • Thanks for the comment, Masaccio. Whatever else, the one thing that can be agreed upon is that Piketty is not a Marxist. :-)

    Let us look at the four paragraphs immediately after that passage of Capital, Volume One you quoted, and it becomes obvious to see why Prof. Harvey would think of capital as a process, or like a flowing river, and not a hard, unchanging thing:

    Between the two there is a strict correlation. To express this, I call the
    value composition of capital, in so far as it is determined by its technical
    composition and mirrors the changes of the latter, the organic
    of capital. Wherever I refer to the composition of capital,
    without further qualification, its organic composition is always understood.

    The many individual capitals invested in a particular branch of production
    have, one with another, more or less different compositions. The average of
    their individual compositions gives us the composition of the total
    capital in this branch of production. Lastly, the average of these averages, in
    all branches of production, gives us the composition of the total social
    capital of a country, and with this alone are we, in the last resort, concerned
    in the following investigation.

    Growth of capital involves growth of its variable constituent or of the part
    invested in labour power. A part of the surplus-value turned into additional
    capital must always be re-transformed into variable capital, or additional
    labour fund. If we suppose that, all other circumstances remaining the same,
    the composition of capital also remains constant (i.e., that a
    definite mass of means of production constantly needs the same mass of labour
    power to set it in motion), then the demand for labour and the subsistence-fund
    of the labourers clearly increase in the same proportion as the capital, and
    the more rapidly, the more rapidly the capital increases. Since the capital
    produces yearly a surplus-value, of which one part is yearly added to the
    original capital; since this increment itself grows yearly along with the
    augmentation of the capital already functioning; since lastly, under special
    stimulus to enrichment, such as the opening of new markets, or of new spheres
    for the outlay of capital in consequence of newly developed social wants,
    &c., the scale of accumulation may be suddenly extended, merely by a change
    in the division of the surplus-value or surplus-product into capital and
    revenue, the requirements of accumulating capital may exceed the increase of
    labour power or of the number of labourers; the demand for labourers may exceed
    the supply, and, therefore, wages may rise. This must, indeed, ultimately be
    the case if the conditions supposed above continue. For since in each year more
    labourers are employed than in its predecessor, sooner or later a point must be
    reached, at which the requirements of accumulation begin to surpass the
    customary supply of labour, and, therefore, a rise of wages takes place. A
    lamentation on this score was heard in England during the whole of the
    fifteenth, and the first half of the eighteenth centuries. The more or less
    favourable circumstances in which the wage working class supports and
    multiplies itself, in no way alter the fundamental character of capitalist
    production. As simple reproduction constantly reproduces the
    capital relation itself, i.e., the relation of capitalists on the one
    hand, and wage workers on the other, so reproduction on a progressive scale,
    i.e., accumulation, reproduces the capital relation on a progressive
    scale, more capitalists or larger capitalists at this pole, more wage workers
    at that. The reproduction of a mass of labour power, which must incessantly
    re-incorporate itself with capital for that capital’s self-expansion;
    which cannot get free from capital, and whose enslavement to capital is only
    concealed by the variety of individual capitalists to whom it sells itself,
    this reproduction of labour power forms, in fact, an essential of the
    reproduction of capital itself. Accumulation of capital is, therefore, increase
    of the proletariat. [1]

    Classical economy grasped this fact so thoroughly that Adam Smith, Ricardo,
    &c., as mentioned earlier, inaccurately identified accumulation with the
    consumption, by the productive labourers, of all the capitalised part of the
    surplus-product, or with its transformation into additional wage labourers.

  • Sounds like the issue was that democracy was working just fine, but not the way the Muslim Brotherhood liked. It was getting its butt kicked at the ballot box and its leaders have decided to kick over the chessboard as a result:

    The battles are part of a wider struggle between Islamists and their opponents, triggered by elections in late June for a new parliament, the house of representatives, that saw steep losses for Islamist parties.

    Those parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction party, will almost certainly lose control of the legislature, and their militias fear they will be dissolved.

    So how’s the family?

  • Madre de Dios, but sometimes search engines irritate me. The two links I posted above aren’t the true start of MitM, but reposts if you will.

    Here are more of Southern Dragon’s posts in the “Marx in the Morning” series — this time, from the true beginning of the series:







  • What’s an r2P?

    And how are Mr. Cahn’s kids?

  • By the way, I do recommend to everyone “Marx in the Morning”, the late and much lamented Southern Dragon’s series of diaries featuring Richard Wolff’sf introductory Marx courses:

    MitM 1

    MitM 2

  • The “both sides do it equally” myth is very useful for conservatives, as it depresses voter turnout among non-conservatives – and as we’ve seen with the conservative pushing of non-conservative targeting voter restrictions through the decades, conservatives like to keep non-conservatives from voting whenever possible.

  • ThumbnailPoor Matt Entenza. He thought he could run yet another sleazy and expensive backstabbing of a campaign against a fellow DFLer, only to be tripped up by the fact that many politically-minded Minnesota Democrats have a) long and accurate memories, and b) an ability to find the proofs that confirm the accuracy of those memories. Matt [...]

  • Phoenix Woman commented on the blog post The Dangers of Wealth Inequality

    2014-07-27 12:49:28View | Delete

    Ah, yes, “Waiting for Superman” — a movie stuffed stem-to-stern with lies, especially about Michelle the Test Score Faker Rhee.

  • Phoenix Woman commented on the blog post The Dangers of Wealth Inequality

    2014-07-27 12:48:23View | Delete

    The charter story in Philadelphia has been one long disaster after another, and yet none of these run-like-a-business entities ever faces a margin call.

  • Except a) the Dayton family has very little to do with Target Corporation, b) Mark is considered a traitor to his class for doing things like teaching in inner-city grade schools, and c) not only is any Dayton family money that might be in DFL coffers considerably less than half the yearly operating budget of the Minnesota DFL, Mark Dayton has had a strained relationship with his largely-Republican family ever since he took part in the Honeywell Project protests in the 1970s.

    But nice try, trollie.

  • Congratulations!

  • Phoenix Woman commented on the blog post Late Night: Grammatical Goofing

    2014-07-22 21:13:10View | Delete

    Actually, grammar is a staple of all language. And it’s not a marker of class privilege to know when and where to use “it’s” and “its”.

  • Phoenix Woman commented on the blog post Late Night: Grammatical Goofing

    2014-07-22 20:08:30View | Delete

    At least one former English professor of my acquaintance says that if she were still teaching, she would be showing that video in her classes.

    As for prepositions, sure! Go ahead, end sentences with them. The Germans do. (And the whole freakout over split infinitives is ridiculous. It wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that grammarians started forbidding them, for no good reason at all.)

  • Phoenix Woman commented on the blog post Piketty and His Critics Chapter 4: Netroots Nation

    2014-07-20 11:58:13View | Delete

    Nail the fricking rentier class. Yes.

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