Capitalism and that sort of Economic Crisis


By Mick Spillane


In the present, as we all know, from Occupy Wall Street to the forty-seven percent, concentrated wealth remains in private hands and fundamental economic decisions are directed toward invidual wealth. The middle-class works for wages or are dependent on someone who does and they have very little control over their own work or the economy as a whole. To an extent, business cycles still occur, and class power still influences practically all political and cultural institutions.


With "transformative maintenance," we see self-generated barriers to capitalist development are overcome by social changes that safeguard the essential power of the capitalist class. Marx, on the one hand believed that capitalist accumulation would produce impenetrable obstacles to further development in the form of economic crises. However, the evolution of capitalism has been marked not by collapse but transformative maintenance.


But one must look to the "displacement of class struggle." This starts with the central tension of capitalism: between the owning and the laboring class. It is displaced by conflict, which is becoming more evident, between other groups. That is, instead of desiring higher wages, people want lower taxes or more benefits from the government, or even a smaller government. Welfare recipients against taxpayers. This can lead to defining the problems as racial, rather than social class problems.


There continues to be an ongoing tension between social production and private ownership, expressed in economic instability, war, waste, and alienation. Why have these economic and social conditions not given rise to political challenges to the system as a whole?


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