Commentary on Political Economy

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Chronicles of A Crisis Foretold

That the capitalist mode of production is in dire straits is something that no intelligent observer of global politico-economic reality can deny. One need only read the published opinions of all manner of informed commentators in the major news media, let alone more sedulous academic researchers, to understand that it is no longer a question of “the capitalist system” being in deep trouble; it is rather a matter of whether it is in a death spiral. First of all, regardless of what else happens henceforward in the political and financial spheres, it is the very survival of the biosphere that capitalism has placed almost beyond the point of no return. If there is to be a return from the now almost irretrievable collapse of the ecosphere, this will with utmost certainty involve the demise of capitalism as a socio-economic system because, as we have argued time and again in this Blog, capitalist industry is utterly dependent on “relative overpopulation”, which means that the system needs an over abundance of available labour power which, in turn, places unsustainable strains on available ecological resources - that is, not just mineral but also biologically indispensable resources such as water and clean air.

In this regard, it is amusing to see some of the more idiotic among observers wonder whether the authoritarian turn of the Chinese Dictatorship is a way forward for the global capitalist system. In reality, far from being a far-sighted plan for the future of capitalism in China, let alone the world, the clear and irreversible arriere-marche by the Dictatorship is quite simply a retrospective surrender to the evidence that capitalist industry is incompatible with the survival of the Dictatorship itself. But before Western bourgeoisies can rejoice, they need to reflect on the fact that once the Chinese economy implodes as the workshop of the Western capitalist world, having supplied cheap consumer goods to drive down labour costs the world over, the consequent crisis of consumer demand and most  of all of labour supply will engender the collapse of Western capitalist economies with it.

The inarrestable decline of the global rate of profit (what morons call “the natural rate of interest”) is a harbinger of the impossibility of the capitalist system to survive even after the global work force has more than doubled in the last 30 years! The catastrophic effect on the ecosphere and on living standards in the West are evident to all but the blindest of imbeciles. The fear is, of course, that even this crisis has not resulted in a boost to progressive forces but rather, quite evidently and seemingly inexorably, to a right-wing regression that threatens to place people like us in concentration before long! And all the whole we have the utterly insensate spread of “identity politics” by people who ought to know that no-one but no-one who counts for the political future of global states gives a hoot about the rights of “transgender” or homosexual couples! “Sleep tight, you morons!” One is tempted to cry out with the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye. Here are the Greens in Germany seeking to enhance the “rights” of family reunification, and thereby bring down the Merkel government, just as the neo-Nazis of Alternative fur Deutschland are preparing plans for fresh-minted gas chambers for all of us! Cheers everyone!

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