Archive for Marx

Study of Marxism

Posted in Communist Movement, Marxism with tags , , , , , , on September 17, 2009 by Umer

by Imran Barlas

“According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life. Other than this neither Marx nor I have ever asserted. Hence if somebody twists this into saying that the economic element is the only determining one, he transforms that proposition into a meaningless, abstract, senseless phrase.”Engels

To derive a more accurate conclusion of whether the economic and philosophical theories of Marx can work or not, it would be beneficial to:

  • Study the economic theories themselves

We spend the entirety of our school, college, university years learning about capitalism. We cannot rely on a simple booklet which was never intended to form the basis of economic/philosophical theory anyway. On the contrary, we study in depth about subjects to arrive at truly accurate analyses about how the world works.

After all, something is clearly wrong with how the world works today. Today, we are in what is being termed as the Great Recession. Had the major capitalist economies not regulated or intervened through the state, it would have been quite likely that we would have entered a Depression. And that would have been even more disastrous.

Why is it then that despite having Ivy League graduates at the helm of businesses, top professionals from the highest ranking universities regarded as some of the smartest people in the world, that the interlinked economies were quite helpless in preventing the crisis? The answer is that the crisis is systemic. No matter how smart one is or how moral one is, the nature of the system is such that recessions and depressions, i.e. perpetual failures will continue to result due to the irreconcilable antagonism between labor and capital.

The effects on people of a recession are obvious. Hundreds of thousands are thrown out of their jobs. Those workers that remain begin to see reductions in their wages so that the owners/shareholders may continue to stay rich! The ‘symbiotic’ relationship between capitalists and workers that is so often claimed in university text books ends without a second thought. Resource based wars start brewing for the retention of profitability and economic vitality. And so on.

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No health-care right under capitalism

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Marxism with tags , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by Umer

Danish Khan

Capitalist system is completely incapable of providing the basic health care to the people. We all know how miserable and terrible the lives of the people of third world countries are. But even in the USA, the most powerful and wealthiest Empire of the human history, many people still don’t have a right to basic health care. This shows the bleak reality of the capitalist system at its supposed best. According to US government’s statistics, 45.7 million people in US have no access to health care. While US Empire is building its strength to dominate all over the globe, its domestic heath care system has completely crippled. US loudly proclaim its commitments towards “peace” and “stability” in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the Empire has forgotten that more than 22,000 deaths each year are caused by the lack of health care in its home. Empire says that health care is too expensive, we can not afford it. On other hand, they are spending $255million per day in Iraq! Iraq is more important than health care because the neo-conservative lobby sees oil there. They are willing to spend money there, but in health care dollars will be used for the welfare of the people which is against the spirit of capitalism. US have the most advanced military weapons and aircrafts for wars. When it comes to health care, the story is little different. There are only 26 doctors per 10,000 people, and the worst is that there are only 31 beds for 10,000 people. Cuba, a very small island with very limited resources, has outshined US in health care only because their priority is the welfare of their people rather than more profit for big corporations. In US health insurance companies’ profits have reached more than 320%, while people have lost all their health overages. It a drastic picture of a most advanced capitalist society, the level of oppression and exploitation is infinite.

In US health care has been traditionally provided by the private employers. However, due to recent economic crisis, many jobs have been lost which resulted in the loss of all the health care services for working people. The degree of exploitation of labor, the appropriation of surplus labor and surplus value are raised notably by intensifying the labor. Marx explained these phenomenon years ago in Das Kapital. But its importance and relevancy is invaluable in today’s world. The accumulation of wealth is increasing every day by the labor of workers, but the only beneficiary of this wealth is the one who owns means of production (the capitalist class). The living standard and quality of life of working men is going vertically down, workers have no health care, and they can’t afford to send their children to go to colleges and universities. In US, 2.6 million jobs have been lost in year 2008 according to U.S Labor department. Is it surprising? Yes, only for those who never had a chance to read Marx’s Das Kapital. Those who have read it and understood it are the least surprised because they know it is a usual case under capitalism. In volume III of Das Kapital, Marx devoted a lot of time in explaining the conflict between expansion of production and production of surplus value. As the rate of surplus value rises, the number of laborers falls relatively or absolutely. In US from January 2008 to September 2008, 1.7 million jobs have been lost while in last four months 1.9 million jobs have disappeared. It is just another tactic of increase the exploitation by lowering the demand of labor as relative to people who are willing to sell their labor.

What we are seeing today is a new chapter in the history of capitalism. We need to educate the masses of the Pakistan about the material realities of the most advanced capitalist country. The bourgeois class of Pakistan, submissive followers of US Imperialism, can not portray this picture of capitalism. Capitalism in its prime form in US is unable to serve its own people. How can they play any role in the betterment and welfare of the people of the Pakistan? In every part of the world people are demanding their rights and they can see that present economic system has no ability to perform effectively. Thus the only alternative system which can provide people proper health care and all their rights and needs is the socialism. In working class circles, socialism and its advantages is a hot topic these days. As the material conditions of the society are becoming more and more favorable for the socialism, a need of a mass based movement is very crucial.

Danish Khan is a student in USA.

Individual and Socialism

Posted in Communist Movement, Marxism with tags , , , on July 18, 2009 by Umer

 

From Nadezhda K. Krupskaya’s letter to A. M. Gorky (September 20, 1932):

 

“…To build socialism means not only building gigantic factories and flour mills. This is essential but not enough for building socialism. People must grow in mind and heart. And on the basis of this individual growth of each in our conditions a new type of mighty socialist collective will in the long run be formed, where “I” and “we” will merge into one inseparable whole. Such a collective can only develop on the basis of profound ideological solidarity and an equally profound emotional rapprochement, mutual understanding.

And here, art, and literature in particular, can play a quite exceptional role. In Capital, Marx has a marvellous chapter [Ed. note–Ch. XI] which I want to translate into the simplest language that even the semi-literate can understand, the chapter on co-operation, where he writes that the collective gives birth to a new force. It is not just the sum-total of people, the sum-total of their forces, but a completely new, much more powerful, force. In his chapter on co-operation Marx writes about the new material force. But when, on its basis, unity of consciousness and will springs up, it becomes an indomitable force…”

Economics of Socialism in USSR

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Marxism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by Umer

Comrade Taimur Rahman of Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party discusses how a planned socialist economy enabled the primitive Tsarist Russsia to unlock the creativity of her people, transforming the USSR into a cultural, social, technological,  scientific, industrial, political, diplomatic and military superpower in a few short decades:

Part 1

Part 2

Comrade Harpal Brar of Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) continues on Comrade Rahman’s theme, explaining certain aspects of rapid innovation, cultural and scientific advance in the USSR:

Part 3