Greece: Throwing Down the Gauntlet to Austerity

Published on political affairs PA, by John Case, November 3, 2011.

… Marx and Austerity:

  • Its worth taking a moment to consider the current main social contradictions from a Marxist point of view: that is, from the standpoint of the overall interests of the working class considered in the aggregate, and in terms of progress towards a classless, or at least more classless, society.  

An argument for Socialism is inherently embedded in even asking what to do about “Too Big To Fail”:

  • Too-big-to-fail monopoly privileges and power are in undisguisable conflict with democracy, which cannot sustain the inequities the rich compel society to endure. Inequality and productivity trends prove they are in conflict too with the principle of equal pay for equal work — which is perhaps the most powerful legal, moral and universally recognized economic principle of equity  — and a derivative of Marx’s most useful slogan of socialism: “from each according to their ability, to each according to their work.” As long as there is a division of labor and people live by consumption and production of commodities, the principle will not lose its force.
  • In addition, these privileges and power also appear to block the ability of most corporate elites to make accommodations needed to reach a new and more stable market frameworks and infrastructures that can leverage the growth and welfare potential of new technologies. Market incentives alone do not work very well to guide the actual restructuring of public markets themselves Thus they must be divided and isolated in persisting in the failed austerity policies.

Objective Changes In the Division of Labor:

  • There are some fundamental reasons why progress depends for now primarily on public — that is, more socialist, instead of private initiative, why even minimum sustainable anti-austerity progress and development will mean a significant change in class relationships and alignments.
  • First, the division of labor in an advanced, services-rich economy is very different from that of predominantly mass-manufacturing economy; which itself qualitatively differs also from the division of labor in an emerging agricultural to industrialized economy. The services-rich economy requires vast, approaching universal, cheap access to very socialized, interdependent infrastructures that service-oriented markets must take for granted. It requires a large number of service producers who can be freed from agricultural and manufacturing because technology and globalization have made them sufficiently productive and cheap. It requires consumers with the incomes and level of culture needed to both buy and provide increasingly skilled services. Why not, if you have the income, pay to have your laundry, housecleaning, meals, financial planning and accounts, politics, charities, memberships and subscriptions, etc, etc. executed or assisted by various useful services and automation, while you focus on your passion? There is no limit to the diversity of services that human creativity can envision.

Anti-austerity Means a larger Working Class voice in ruling coalition: … (full long text).

Link: Crise? Scandale: la Grèce dépense plus d’un milliard d’euros pour acheter des chars, publié dans atlantico.fr, le 12 octobre 2011: Alors que la Grèce, en faillite potentielle, bénéficie d’une manne d’aides financières (UE, FMI…), elle s’apprête par ailleurs à acheter pour plus d’un milliard d’euros de chars aux Etats-Unis …

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