Monday, October 13, 2008

A Marx quote from 1894

This is an interesting quote from Marx but there is no mention of the state rushing in to help bail out the miscreants. I saw the quote in Rabble. Also, it is the large concentrated capitals in huge financial institutions that were the speculators and guilty of credit frauds not smaller capitalists I should think. The partial destruction of capital has already happened as evidenced in the precipitous decline of share values for threatened institutions. This is what the market would do as Marx saw but then he did not seem to see the state rescue or at least not in this passage. However he did see that the capitalists would try to shove off the losses upon another. In this case it has been the taxpayer!

Capital Vol. III Part III (1894) - The Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall.
“The real barrier of capitalist production is capital itself. It is that capital and its self-expansion appear as the starting and the closing point, the motive and the purpose of production; that production is only production for capital and not vice versa…
At a certain high point this increasing concentration in its turn causes a new fall in the rate of profit. The mass of small dispersed capitals is thereby driven along the adventurous road of speculation, credit frauds, stock swindles, and crises…
But as soon as it no longer is a question of sharing profits, but of sharing losses, everyone tries to reduce his own share to a minimum and to shove it off upon another. The class, as such, must inevitably lose. How much the individual capitalist must bear of the loss, i.e., to what extent he must share in it at all, is decided by strength and cunning, and competition then becomes a fight among hostile brothers. The antagonism between each individual capitalist’s interests and those of the capitalist class as a whole, then comes to the surface, just as previously the identity of these interests operated in practice through competition. How is this conflict settled and the conditions restored which correspond to the “sound” operation of capitalist production? The mode of settlement is already indicated in the very emergence of the conflict whose settlement is under discussion. It implies the withdrawal and even the partial destruction of capital…”

Pretty good for 1894.

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