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    draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

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    EricL

    Number of posts : 53
    Registration date : 2008-04-19

    draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  EricL on Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:35 am

    Don’t socialize the losses—take the whole thing!

    Nationalize finance under democratic control!

    After a year of gathering economic crisis, the financial panic that broke out in mid-September has made a new global depression, on the scale of the 1930’s or worse, all but inevitable. For years, capitalists have inflated their profits with a series of speculative bubbles, where the values of assets—stocks or mortgages or commodities—soar on the expectation that they will soar. For years, a huge portion of capitalists assets have been purely fictitious, based only on what other capitalists were willing to pay for them, not on any relationship to the real economy. The psychology that supported that fictional value broke last month, replaced with panic. Now, the entire financial sector is bankrupt, with fewer assets than debts.

    Throwing their neoliberal, “free market” ideology of the last three decade overboard like so much ballast, the capitalists are relying on the government that they profess to despise to save them. They intend to socialize the huge losses they have incurred, while continuing to privatize their past profits. US Secretary of Treasury Paulson’s plan gives the losses to the workers, the profits to the shareholders.

    The US Government’s rescue plan will not work to avoid a depression. If the US government simply borrows the $700 billion that they give to the financial corporations, interest rates will soar. This will further depress housing prices, lead to major bankruptcies in manufacturing, and create huge new losses. The downward spiral will continue. If on the other hand, the government massively slashes the budget, cutting Social Security pensions, working class consumption will collapse, again feeding a downwards spiral of falling prices and new losses.

    In previous crises, global capitalism was able to recover by opening up new markets, like the emergence of the Chinese market during the past six years. Today this is not possible—there are no new Chinas out there. It is indeed this fundamental limitation of the market that is the underlying cause of the crisis. Capitalism now can only lead the world into a downward vortex of rising unemployment, collapsing wages and economic chaos.

    But there is a workers’ alternative. Instead of socializing losses governments must socialize—nationalize—the entire finance industry and place it under democratic control. A demand that a few weeks ago would have seemed leftist utopianism is now entirely reasonable and indeed the only practical solution. If all the financial institutions—banks, insurance companies, saving and loans, pension funds—become state property, their worthless loans to each other can be wiped off the books as the mere paper that they are. As the sole holders of individual homeowner’s mortgages, the government-owned financial corporation can slash interest rates on the mortgages, instantly putting billions of dollars in working-class pockets. It can reorient financial investments toward the huge infrastructural and industrial projects needed in the United States, and indeed in every nation, creating millions of new jobs. It can wipe out the crippling international debt owned by developing countries that has sucked wealth from billions of people for decades.

    Of course, this nationalization would be without any compensation to existing shareholders. Congressional Democrats have called for the government to take just “some equity” in the failed banks, leaving the wealthy shareholders in control and in the money. But the more than trillion dollars in losses already incurred have, even by capitalist reckoning, wiped out all shareholder’s equity. The financial intuitions are bankrupt and the shareholders, who profited in creating the crisis, hardly deserve a gift from the government.

    This solution is equally valid in every other country. Such nationalized financial institutions, cooperating with each other globally, would have to be controlled democratically by freely elected boards at the local, regional and national level. This democratic control is the only way to prevent the money simply flowing back into private hands.

    This nationalization is not by itself a solution to the crisis, but it is a large part. To stop the depression, working class incomes must be increased. Immigrants, in particular must be allowed the rights to organize and raise their wages and must be given the legalization needed to protect them for employer abuse. Public services like education and health must be expanded. Clearly, after this sudden appearance of $700 billion dollars, no one can rationally argue that the United States cannot afford universal single-payer health insurance and universal free university education or to rebuild its cities.

    Only a vast mass movement could possibly win the nationalization of finance, for the capitalists will fight it tooth and nail. After all, the financial corporations own or control most of the other corporations. Nationalization of finance under democratic control poses the real question of which class is to run society. It would only take place as a transitional step in a revolutionary struggle to put control of society in the hands of all workers. But with millions soon facing the loss of jobs and houses, with no alternatives, a mass movement is possible. Already, an intense wave of anger is rolling over the US working class in opposition to the government bailout and Congressional offices are deluged with messages running 99% against the plan.

    In the US, where workers organizations are weak, the first step is to call organizing meetings of immigrant rights, anti-war, labor and other groups to work out a common Workers’ Solution to the economic crisis. Many left organizations are already putting forward their own differing ideas, so activists may welcome the chance to formulate a common approach to a common solution. As support for such solutions emerges, as we think it can, then mass actions, mass organizing and eventually mass strikes will follow.

    mondialiste

    Number of posts : 120
    Registration date : 2008-06-01

    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  mondialiste on Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:42 am

    Nationalize finance under democratic control!
    (. . . )
    Capitalism now can only lead the world into a downward vortex of rising unemployment, collapsing wages and economic chaos. But there is a workers’ alternative. Instead of socializing losses governments must socialize—nationalize—the entire finance industry and place it under democratic control. A demand that a few weeks ago would have seemed leftist utopianism is now entirely reasonable and indeed the only practical solution. If all the financial institutions—banks, insurance companies, saving and loans, pension funds—become state property, their worthless loans to each other can be wiped off the books as the mere paper that they are. As the sole holders of individual homeowner’s mortgages, the government-owned financial corporation can slash interest rates on the mortgages, instantly putting billions of dollars in working-class pockets. It can reorient financial investments toward the huge infrastructural and industrial projects needed in the United States, and indeed in every nation, creating millions of new jobs. It can wipe out the crippling international debt owned by developing countries that has sucked wealth from billions of people for decades.
    (. . .)
    This solution is equally valid in every other country. Such nationalized financial institutions, cooperating with each other globally, would have to be controlled democratically by freely elected boards at the local, regional and national level. This democratic control is the only way to prevent the money simply flowing back into private hands.
    I don't believe it! Rosa Luxemburg must be turning in her grave. She understood that socialism meant the abolition of banks and other financial institutions not their nationalization. That's state capitalism. Talk about leftist utopianism.

    EricL

    Number of posts : 53
    Registration date : 2008-04-19

    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  EricL on Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:44 pm

    Here is What Rosa Luxemburg actually wrote about the nationalization of the banks--this is from "what Does the Spartakus league want"? Yes, it is 90 years ago. But at least let's keep our history accurate.

    "III. Immediate economic demands:

    1. Confiscation of all dynastic wealth and income for the collectivity.

    2. Repudiation of the state and other public debt together with all war loans, with the exception of sums of certain level to be determined by the central council of the workers' and soldiers' councils.

    3. Expropriation of the lands and fields of all large and medium agricultural enterprises; formation of socialist agricultural collectives under unified central direction in the entire nation. Small peasant holdings remain in the possession of their occupants until the latters' voluntary association with the socialist collectives.

    4. Expropriation by the council Republic of all banks, mines, smelters, together with all large enterprises of industry and commerce.

    5. Confiscation of all wealth above a level to be determined by the central council.

    6. Takeover of the entire public transportation system by the councils' Republic.

    7. Election of enterprise councils in all enterprises, which, in coordination with the workers' councils, have the task of ordering the internal affairs of the enterprises, regulating working conditions, controlling production and finally taking over direction of the enterprise.

    8. Establishment of a central strike commission which, in constant collaboration with the enterprise councils, will furnish the strike movement now beginning throughout the nation with a unified leadership, socialist direction and the strongest support by the political power of the workers' and soldiers' councils."

    mondialiste

    Number of posts : 120
    Registration date : 2008-06-01

    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  mondialiste on Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:41 am

    Yes indeed, but that was a list of immediate measures that Spartacus League wanted introduced should the working class in Germany have won control of political power in 1918 (which it didn't). It was not a list of immediate measures to be implemented at any time under capitalism.
    In any event, you've forgotten to quote the inspiring manifesto's call for the immediate establishment of socialism as the only hope for humanity:
    Out of all this bloody confusion, this yawning abyss, there is no help, no escape, no rescue other than socialism. Only the revolution of the world proletariat can bring order into this chaos, can bring work and bread for all, can end the reciprocal slaughter of the peoples, can restore peace, freedom, true culture to this martyred humanity. Down with the wage system! That is the slogan of the hour! Instead of wage labor and class rule there must be collective labor. The means of production must cease to be the monopoly of a single class; they must become the common property of all. No more exploiters and exploited! Planned production and distribution of the product in the common interest. Abolition not only of the contempo-rary mode of production, mere exploitation and robbery, but equally of contemporary commerce, mere fraud.
    In place of the employers and their wage slaves, free working comrades! Labor as nobody's torture, because everybody's duty! A human and honorable life for all who do their social duty. Hunger no longer the curse of labor, but the scourge of idleness!
    Only in such a society are national hatred and servitude uprooted. Only when such a society has become reality will the earth no more be stained by murder. Only then can it be said: This war was the last.
    In this hour, socialism is the only salvation for humanity. The words of the Communist Manifesto flare like a fiery menetekel above the crumbling bastions of capitalist society:
    Socialism or barbarism!
    No mention here of "nationalized financial institutions, cooperating with each other globally" as "the only way to prevent the money simply flowing back into private hands".
    In fact, come to think of it, this passage could usefully be incorporated into your bulletin unless, that is, you're afraid to advocate socialism as too "utopian".

    "Down with the wage system! That is the slogan of the hour!"

    EricL

    Number of posts : 53
    Registration date : 2008-04-19

    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  EricL on Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:39 pm

    I said in the article that it could “only take place as a transitional step in a revolutionary struggle to put control of society in the hands of all workers”, in another words, in a revolutionary struggle for socialism. Certainly it can be argued that such a demand is not appropriate at this time, or premature given the low state of the movement, or whatever. But I find it hard to see how anyone could argue that it is inconsistent with Marx or Luxemburg. As I posted earlier, both Marx in the Manifesto, and Luxemburg 70 years later in her program of the Spartakusbund advocated nationalization of the banks. In both cases they were making these demands at a time when capitalist rule still existed in Germany. I don’t think the fundamental nature of capitalism has changed more in the last 90 years then in the preceding 70.

    A revolution is not a single day. It is a process. If we don't put forward now what we mean by socialism and what our alternatives are to capitalist policies, we will have no effect on anything. It will be as if we are evangelists saying that all will be well come the Millenium.

    mondialiste

    Number of posts : 120
    Registration date : 2008-06-01

    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  mondialiste on Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:53 am

    both Marx in the Manifesto, and Luxemburg 70 years later in her program of the Spartakusbund advocated nationalization of the banks. In both cases they were making these demands at a time when capitalist rule still existed in Germany.
    It is true that both the Communist and the Spartakist Manifestos advocated a single State bank, but not as a reform demand to be achieved within capitalism. Both manifestos saw it as one immediate measure that the working class should take had it won control of political power at the time. Both in 1848 and in 1918 this seemed a possibility in Germany though in neither case was it really on the cards. What you have done is to turn this proposed immediate measure to be taken by the working class on the capture of political power into a reform demand to be implemented by the capitalist state even if under working class pressure. This is to cross the line between revolution and reform.
    I don’t think the fundamental nature of capitalism has changed more in the last 90 years then in the preceding 70.

    Certainly the basic economic structure and mechanism of capitalism (the exploitation of wage-labour by capital for surplus-value) hasn't changed, but the political situation has changed immensely since both 1848 and 1918 (as you point out 1918 was nearer to 1848 than we are today to 1918 -- 90 years is a long time). So has technical progress (for instance, there were no motor cars or electricity in 1848 and no television or electronic devices in 1918).
    Marx and Engels themselves, when they republished the Communist Manifesto in 1872, recognised that political and other conditions had changed (and that was only in 24 years) to such an extent that, in the preface to the new edition, they wrote that "no special stress" should be put on the programme of immediate measures for the working class to implement on winning control of political power as it "had in some details become antiquated".
    However much that state of things may have altered during the last twenty-five years, the general principles laid down in the Manifesto are, on the whole, as correct today as ever. Here and there, some detail might be improved. The practical application of the principles will depend, as the Manifesto itself states, everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions for the time being existing, and, for that reason, no special stress is laid on the revolutionary measures proposed at the end of Section II. That passage would, in many respects, be very differently worded today. In view of the gigantic strides of Modern Industry since 1848, and of the accompanying improved and extended organization of the working class, in view of the practical experience gained, first in the February Revolution, and then, still more, in the Paris Commune, where the proletariat for the first time held political power for two whole months, this programme has in some details been antiquated.
    Anyway, independently of what Marx and Engels may or may not have thought (which in the end is not all that relevant), and judging the nationalised banking system you propose on its merits, it wouldn't work in the idealised way you imagine it would ("As the sole holders of individual homeowner’s mortgages, the government-owned financial corporation can slash interest rates on the mortgages, instantly putting billions of dollars in working-class pockets. It can reorient financial investments toward the huge infrastructural and industrial projects needed in the United States, and indeed in every nation, creating millions of new jobs. It can wipe out the crippling international debt owned by developing countries that has sucked wealth from billions of people for decades.") as capitalism doesn't work that way (and, with interest rates, mortgages, financial investments, new jobs, etc, it would still be capitalism). It can't be reformed, even by nationalisations and state planning, to work in the interest of the majority class of wage and salary earners. Surely Russia proved that, if nothing else. The way out is socialism and no money and no banks, not state capitalism and nationalised banks.
    .

    luxemburguista
    Admin

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    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  luxemburguista on Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:14 pm

    I post my opinion on this draft-editorial. But, in english, I can´t express very much.

    I do not believe that only an editorial is valid to treat the crisis. An editorial that was introducing an article where the crisis was analyzed in depth would be valid. Only an editorial, without anything more, for its own briefness, can confuse more than another thing.

    I do not also agree in that the questions appear as Eric has raised them in the editorial. For several reasons:
    1. I am not sure that the capitalism could not find “areas of expansion”. There are economists (marxists) who take time indicating that the capitalism can use what they call “military keynesianism” to overcome the explosion of these bubbles. We all can do to ourselves an idea (in accordance with the exhibited for Rose in The Accumulation) of what means that later or earlier: war.
    2. Africa yes might be “area of expansion” (up to a point) for the capitalism. Both the geostrategic movements and commercials might indicate this. Also we must remember that there is great population in the world that is not yet proletarian. On this exploitation the capitalism expands.
    3. The slogan of the nationalization under working and/or democratic control can be useful sometimes. But not always. And in this occasion, for the finance, I do not believe that it is useful. Why? Because we are speaking about international, not national finance. The possibilities of intervention of the national states it is minimal in the global current economy (dominated by multinational companies that help with supranational institutions). When we fight against the privatization of a hospital or a company, the hospital and the company are there, physically. But the finance not.

    I believe that an article, extensive, that should explain how Rosa's theories turn out to be confirmed by the current crisis; how the crisis is a product of the increase without limits of the exploitation for the accumulation; how the militarism is the exit of the capitalism in view of this crisis; how will the “proletarización” spread on the peasants, the small bourgeoisie, …; how is the concentration of the property a result of the crisis; … An article like that YES would be important, because it would contribute a "particular" vision (luxemburgist) on this thread. But only an editorial, too brief out of necessity, is not the most suitable thing.

    SALUD


    _________________
    ¡SOCIALISMO O BARBARIE!
    Alternativa Roja y Verde - Los Alternativos
    Democracia Comunista Internacional

    ElIndio

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    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  ElIndio on Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:20 pm

    Mondialiste,

    Nobody say that by just nationalizing the banks we would solve the situation. The editorial clearly explains that nationalization under workers' control (should we use the expression of "socialization" instead of "nationalization" to clear out things?) would be part of a larger movement in which workers will gain power (ie Revolution).

    Indeed, we are not at the eve of a Revolution but we must point out a solution. All governments are claiming to protect workers by giving money (workers' money) to financial institution. Should we just sit and say nothing?

    I have been discussing this crisis with people around me (all workers) and they all agreed with this idea. Unfortunately, it seems that the term "nationalization" causes too much confusion. Shouldn't we say "socialization" and define it as the process in which workers gain control of economic and political power trhough Revolution in order to achieve Communism?

    Besides this, I think Luxemburguista raised important questions : isn't there room for further accumulation?

    mondialiste

    Number of posts : 120
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    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  mondialiste on Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:54 am

    "Socialization" is certainly a less misleading word than "nationalization" (State take-over), but why would we want even to "socialise" banks in the course of the socialist revolution when one of its results will be to render money redundant?
    In any event, surely it cannot be one of the aims of the socialist revolution to "slash interest rates on the mortgages" as Eric put it in his draft bulletin, can it? People are not going to have to buy houses in socialism, are they?

    luxemburguista
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    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  luxemburguista on Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:23 pm

    But, Mondialiste, you are in the end of a process (the social revolution). And we haven´t even started it yet.
    In a socialist society, the money will be useless. But today we don´t live in a socialist society. Can we wait? We have to think what do we do now. We can´t deny the problem. This is the more simple. But it´s as useless as the socialist money.

    I continue thinking that today is impossible nationalize/socialize the finances. Because they are international finances. And I continue thinking that the key factor must be in the "control" of the production, not in the control of the circulation.

    SALUD


    _________________
    ¡SOCIALISMO O BARBARIE!
    Alternativa Roja y Verde - Los Alternativos
    Democracia Comunista Internacional

    mondialiste

    Number of posts : 120
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    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  mondialiste on Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:28 am

    I agree that we don't live in a socialist society today and so do need money to live. So, what should we do? Try and get as much money as we can from our employers as wages by organising a collective struggle, while at the same time arguing for socialism (where there'll be no money) as the only permanent solution. If we only argue for (unrealistic) stop-gap measures such as "public works" and "nationalization of the banks" when are people going to hear about socialism? This could even suggest that we don't really think that socialism is realistic ourselves.

    lucien

    Number of posts : 118
    Registration date : 2008-05-18

    nationalization of the banks

    Post  lucien on Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:25 pm

    En France ce n'est plus seulement Olivier Besancenot, le porte-parole de la LCR, qui demande la nationalisations des banques, mais François Fillon, le premier ministre, qui annonce qu'il n'hésite pas à nationaliser pour empêcher les failllites (et "remettre sur le marché" une fois la crise passée).

    ElIndio

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    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  ElIndio on Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:55 pm

    Reading the previous posts I ask myself if we read the same article. I think there is a huge confusion on the matter and indeed the draft must be reviewed : not what it says, in my opinion, but how it says it.

    Lucien points out that the French PM Fillon also talks about "Nationalization". Actually, he does use that word but not in the sense used here : he wants to buy out "rotten assets" from banks, give them cash and then resell their shares once they recover from the situation. That is not what the editorial says. It says that Banks should be nationalized, that is they should be public property AND managed by a workers' power.

    That is Socialization to me, it can only exist in a revolutionnary process. We are not in this situation at the moment but we might get there as events unfold or not.

    So, what should we do? Try and get as much money as we can from our employers as wages by organising a collective struggle, while at the same time arguing for socialism (where there'll be no money) as the only permanent solution. If we only argue for (unrealistic) stop-gap measures such as "public works" and "nationalization of the banks" when are people going to hear about socialism?
    Nobody says we should not speak of Socialism. We also think, like you, that we should struggle for immediate demands (earning more wages... and socializing wealth, isn't that also part of the class struggle to switch wealth from Bourgeois to workers?). Again, the problem is wording, not ideas. Noone says that we should nationalize as it is done by present governments.

    I continue thinking that today is impossible nationalize/socialize the finances. Because they are international finances. And I continue thinking that the key factor must be in the "control" of the production, not in the control of the circulation.
    I agree that finance is international but as the process of Revolution evolves, local "nationalization" should become international "nationalizations".

    You are right to say that the key is the ownership over means of production not just over circulation... but socializing the banks give the financial power to Society and therefore the power to control the production itself. Without cash there is no accumulation or reproduction of the system

    mondialiste

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    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  mondialiste on Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:57 am

    The "socialization", or common ownership, of the banks doesn't make sense since, when there is common ownership, there's no need for banks. As Marx put it:

    As soon as the means of production cease being transformed into capital (which also includes the abolition of private property in land), credit as such no longer has any meaning. This, incidentally, was even understood by the followers of Saint-Simon. On the other hand, as long as the capitalist mode of production continues to exist, interest-bearing capital, as one of its forms, also continues to exist and constitutes in fact the basis of its credit system. Only that sensational writer, Proudhon, who wanted to perpetuate commodity-production and abolish money, [25] was capable of dreaming up the monstrous crèdit gratuit, the ostensible realization of the pious wish of the petty-bourgeois estate." (Capital, Volume III, chapter 36)
    Or, in French:

    Dès que les moyens de production ont cessé de se transformer en capital (ce qui implique aussi l'abolition de la propriété foncière privée), le crédit, en soi, n'a plus de raison d'être. D'ailleurs, même des saint-simoniens l'avaient compris. D'autre part, tant que subsiste le mode de production capitaliste, le capital productif d'intérêt continue lui aussi à subsister comme une de ses formes et constitue en fait la base de son système de crédit. Seul Proudhon, cet écrivain à sensation qui veut laisser subsister la production marchande tout en supprimant largent, était capable d'imaginer ce monstre: le crédit gratuit, qui prétendait réaliser ce voeu pieux qui est le point de vue petit-bourgeois."
    Also, there's an article on the Démocratie Communiste (Luxemburgiste) site at http://democom.neuf.fr/pourcommunisme.htm which ends:

    « Luxemburgisme » (comme d’ailleurs « marxisme ») est un terme très imparfait, d’abord puisqu’il fait référence à une seule personne. Mais les faits sont là, et malheureusement aucun terme ne définit clairement ce qu’est le « marxisme démocratique », le « luxemburgisme » : la participation au mouvement réel - « le mouvement autonome de l'immense majorité » - qui lutte pour abolir l'ordre établi et pour créer une société sans Etat, sans classes sociales, sans argent.
    What use would banks be in a society "sans argent" ?

    EricL

    Number of posts : 53
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    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  EricL on Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:28 pm

    A few points:

    I agree that we should say “socialization” not “nationalization”. This word, which used to mean something has been made, in the last couple of weeks, to mean nothing by the media. For example, they talk of the giant insurer AIG being “nationalized” when it is in fact wholly owned privately and has received a hand-out from the government in return for options to buy the stock at a price far above its present one—in other words, in return for worthless paper. We should let the press have the word “nationalization”. When we say “socialization”, people will have to ask what we mean.

    Socialization means, first of all, a state monopoly of finance—no private banks no private insurers, no private pensions—only an enlarged Social Security (or the equivalent in other countries.) Second, it means democratic control—with elected councils at all levels. We can contrast this with the capitalist plans which shovel money into the private banks—or even the establishment of a state bank to take over the losses while the private banks keep the assets. And with the dictatorial authority that controls these bailout plans.

    In fact, Luxemburgist, socializing finance will pretty much socialize all industry, since the financial institutions collectively own controlling shares of nearly all the big corporations. And yes, we must discuss how this can be done on a global scale. (This is another advantage of avoiding the word ”nationalization”, which emphasizes national control).

    Of course we are not near to having the mass movement that could enforce such demands, which will in fact be implemented only in the course of a revolution, since they would wipe out capital. But we are at the point, as El Indio says, that workers can understand that this is what SHOULD be done. The first part of the process is coming to an understanding among the greater part of the working class that this is needed. That will take a while and involve both propaganda and mass struggle.

    One last point to Monidaliste: even if the working class attains complete political and economic power we would need money for quite some time—perhaps close to a generation. To abolish money we need to have all the goods that the WORLD’s population needs, so that goods would become so cheap and abundant there would be no need for any allocation mechanism. But there are not enough actual physical goods to go around, globally. It would take even a socialist society some years—15 to 20 at a guess—to expand production to the point that everyone had decent housing ,all the clothing and furniture they need etc. Until then money will be needed and even a state financial institution. You cannot wish that transition period away. Once material want is abolished, then money and everything that goes with it will be too. This will happen over time, as more and more things become free:immediately services like health, education, and water. Then energy and later goods--first food then clothing then housing-- will fall in price until they too become free. But not the "day after the revolution".

    lucien

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    Registration date : 2008-05-18

    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  lucien on Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:03 am

    A funny quote about nationalizations:
    "Si l'étatisation du tabac était socialiste, Napoléon et Metternich compteraient parmi les fondateurs du socialisme." (F. Engels)
    "Certainly, if the taking over by the State of the tobacco industry is socialistic, then Napoleon and Metternich must be numbered among the founders of Socialism."

    mondialiste

    Number of posts : 120
    Registration date : 2008-06-01

    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

    Post  mondialiste on Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:05 am

    Luxemburgist, socializing finance
    So, now there's a Luxemburgist financial policy ! What next -- a Marxist monetary policy ? This is just ridiculous. I don't understand how anybody who wants to keep money and banks (even if they think these will wither away after a generation) can be considered either a Luxemburgist or a Marxist. In fact, I'm a bit surprised that nobody else on this forum has come forward to challenge Eric on this point.
    But there are not enough actual physical goods to go around, globally. It would take even a socialist society some years—15 to 20 at a guess—to expand production to the point that everyone had decent housing ,all the clothing and furniture they need etc. Until then money will be needed and even a state financial institution.
    The facts don't support this contention. Figures produced by the FAO, WHO and others who have studied the problem show that the world does already have the productive resources to provide enough for every man, woman and child on the planet. This is technically possible. It doesn't happen because we are living under capitalism which not only wastes resources (not just armaments but the whole financial system too) but maintains an artificial scarcity underproducing in relation to needs ("no profit, no production"). Once the dead hand of capitalism is removed, then we'll be able to fairly rapidly produce enough to satisfy people's needs. Certainly in less than "15 to 20" years.

    In any event, if right at the beginning for the first couple of years there's a problem with producing enough of some things, I don't think retaining money and a "state financial institution" would be the answer. There are other ways of sharing out goods in temporary short supply.

    Yes, I think we can establish a stateless, moneyless, wageless socialism now. No, we don't have to pass through a 15-20 year period of state capitalism, with money and (state) banks, before we can get there.

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    Re: draft editorial for bulletin on crisis

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