Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Political Aspects of Full Employment V, 2.

by Michal Kalecki

'Full employment capitalism' will, of course, have to develop new social and political institutions which will reflect the increased power of the working class. If capitalism can adjust itself to full employment, a fundamental reform will have been incorporated in it. If not, it will show itself an outmoded system which must be scrapped.

But perhaps the fight for full employment may lead to fascism? Perhaps capitalism will adjust itself to full employment in this way? This seems extremely unlikely. Fascism sprang up in Germany against a background of tremendous unemployment, and maintained itself in power through securing full employment while capitalist democracy failed to do so. The fight of the progressive forces for all employment is at the same time a way of preventing the recurrence of fascism.

1 comment:

Myrtle Blackwood said...

Kalecki: "The fight of the progressive forces for all employment is at the same time a way of preventing the recurrence of fascism. He strikes me as a man that is terribly confused. Does he ever define what 'capitalism' is?

I don't think a helpful discussion can proceed on economics without acknowledging the evolution that has taken place within the economic 'system' we are now coming to grips with.

Blissex said that under capitalism the owners of capital are the principals. If the bank bosses are the principals than it is no longer capitalism, it’s corporatism. Capitalism died in the western world at least 50 years ago… Chief executives of banks have traditionally had incentives to maximize earnings by using leverage because they are not the owners of the capital (principals). It maybe ownership rather than market dynamics that is the problem (with the current global financial crisis) or it maybe instead a large unacknowledged (except perhaps in papers/books read by few people) shift in the power structure related to ownership patterns, and *that* is what matters."Ownership vs markets. 12th September 2008

Restating 'Juan' on a previous Econospeak discussion:

Capitalism is both production (creation of surplus value) and market (realization of profit, with the illusion of the market as productive). The forces of production and the market are in opposition and imbalance with each other (ie not in equilibrium). Commodity relations (production for exchange) became generalized under capitalism through the separation of people from the land and through the elimination of home production. When the working classes began to organize against the capitalist system the ideology encompassed in marginalist market theory (‘free’ markets, competition, supply-demand equilibrium, arms-length transactions between buyer and seller) became very convenient as a form of justification for the economic system of capitalism." We have a single system, and in that system the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold, the bread and circuses." " The whole fabric of society will go to wrack if we really lay hands of reform on our rotten institutions. From top to bottom the whole system is a fraud, all of us know it, laborers and capitalists alike, and all of us are consenting parties to it."-- Henry Adams