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Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:29 AM

Something from Michael Roberts.........

What do y'all think?

http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/crisis-or-breakdown/#comments

This speculation, which I believe will prove to be accurate, is why I don't think that we're going to be facing a retrenchment RE: capitalism ever again. The crises of capitalism will come closer and closer together and will be sharper and sharper engendering more and more resistence until finally we come to the final confrontation that will result in socialism or barbarism. The trick is to figure out WHICH crisis is the final crisis. Or rather in which crisis the working class is strong enough and organized enough to take control and institute socialism.

It might take a few decades, but it's coming. Socialism or barbarism.

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Something from Michael Roberts......... (Original post)
socialist_n_TN Sep 2012 OP
BOG PERSON Sep 2012 #1
socialist_n_TN Sep 2012 #2
socialist_n_TN Sep 2012 #3
BOG PERSON Sep 2012 #4
socialist_n_TN Sep 2012 #5
socialist_n_TN Sep 2012 #6
BOG PERSON Sep 2012 #7
white_wolf Sep 2012 #8
BOG PERSON Sep 2012 #9

Response to socialist_n_TN (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 11:57 AM

1. contains a reference to an essay by david graeber

so anarchists have glommed onto TFRP too. which is cool. i like what i've read of david graeber. even if i don't find all his ideas 100% agreeable. this is a long ass essay, probably deserving of its own thread. maybe i'm just dull but there doesn't seem to be very much in here directly relating to The Law of The Tendency. some of it is copied + pasted below

Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit

In this final, stultifying stage of capitalism, we are moving from poetic technologies to bureaucratic technologies. By poetic technologies I refer to the use of rational and technical means to bring wild fantasies to reality. Poetic technologies, so understood, are as old as civilization. Lewis Mumford noted that the first complex machines were made of people. Egyptian pharaohs were able to build the pyramids only because of their mastery of administrative procedures, which allowed them to develop production-line techniques, dividing up complex tasks into dozens of simple operations and assigning each to one team of workmen—even though they lacked mechanical technology more complex than the inclined plane and lever. Administrative oversight turned armies of peasant farmers into the cogs of a vast machine. Much later, after cogs had been invented, the design of complex machinery elaborated principles originally developed to organize people.

Yet we have seen those machines—whether their moving parts are arms and torsos or pistons, wheels, and springs—being put to work to realize impossible fantasies: cathedrals, moon shots, transcontinental railways. Certainly, poetic technologies had something terrible about them; the poetry is likely to be as much of dark satanic mills as of grace or liberation. But the rational, administrative techniques were always in service to some fantastic end.

From this perspective, all those mad Soviet plans—even if never realized—marked the climax of poetic technologies. What we have now is the reverse. It’s not that vision, creativity, and mad fantasies are no longer encouraged, but that most remain free-floating; there’s no longer even the pretense that they could ever take form or flesh. The greatest and most powerful nation that has ever existed has spent the last decades telling its citizens they can no longer contemplate fantastic collective enterprises, even if—as the environmental crisis demands— the fate of the earth depends on it.

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Response to BOG PERSON (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:09 PM

2. Niice post Bog, especially the last paragraph........

More later. At work.

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Response to BOG PERSON (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 06:52 PM

3. Profit is just like water in that...........

it will always find it's highest level, no matter the risks. Those "poetic technologies" cost to innovate and develope, whereas stock market and commodity gambling cost less. But those gambles are incredibly risky, which means when they go down they go down hard. But since they're more profitable when they hit, all of capitalism wants that gamble.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 11:09 AM

4. thats true

that's why we have reached the end of Progress. have you seen the film Prometheus? it is set about 70 years in the future and the most prominent example of future tech is HOLOGRAMS. in the future humans have perfected holograms (and hibernation pods) and that's about it. they go to a moon where our species' creators have encamped, and they find out that THAT species also perfected HOLOGRAMS and HIBERNATION PODS. even the first Alien movie had more technological optimism, and it was made before the computer age.

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Response to BOG PERSON (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:54 PM

5. The end of Progress under the current system.........

We haven't really tried a democratically styled economic system, other than some abortive attempts that were hijacked by bureaucracy.

Either way though, I believe that the shocks and crises of capitalism are going to be coming faster and faster over the next 30 years or so and if we don't do something about it, we're all fucked. They'll be coming too fast and too close together to even ATTEMPT a recovery in between the crises resulting in an ever expanding disparity of income and wealth. Even the species itself is in danger, IMO. At BEST, if we don't succeed in changing from capitalism to socialism, we go back into a dark age style barbarity for the vast majority of the world's population.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:04 PM

6. To add and answer your questions.......

No I haven't seem Prometheus. I'll look for it.

IF the next few decades go as I (and Roberts) think, that will be the end of any sort of technological progress right there. At least for the duration and until it's settled out RE: socialism or barbarism.

And yes, popular culture over the last 20 years or so has reflected the "dumbing down" (for lack of a better metaphor) of technological progress. It's all part of the "individualist vs collectivist" battle that's going on. As I said in my article on Paul Ryan (hopefully posted soon), the BEST of human society resulted from a collectivist mindset, NOT from an individualist one. "Rugged individualism" might appeal to the egoist in all of us, but it won't advance society as a whole like a collectivist mindset will.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:51 PM

7. to World War 3, i say:

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 02:33 PM

8. Your last paragraph is interesting.

Historically speaking no society has thrived via individualism. Rome wasn't built in a day nor was it built alone. Try being an individualist in a feudal society and see how long you last, from the king down to the lowest serf you had to rely on others. Even America with its myth of individualism is just that, a myth. Does anyone really think the U.S. was built by individuals? No, it was by community. Wasn't it Franklin who said "hang together or we will hang separately." Even the settling of the West which is viewed as the height of individualism was a collective accomplishment. Most people traveled in wagon trains, they had to have help building their homes, they had to have people to sell them supplies, etc. It's all a myth.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #8)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 06:04 PM

9. yes indeed, to paraphase Mr President

"you didn't kill that {red indian}" (by yourself)

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