Sunday, September 28, 2014

MMT criticism from the far left

The far left joins the far right in attacking MMT.

The Real World

MMT and the United States as the international monetary sovereign

Fuck MMT: The Left had better start looking for an exit from capitalism



Dan Kervick said...

The dumbest thing Marx ever did was fall for that "withering away of the state" business. Whether the state is "bourgeois" or "proletarian" or "cooperative" or "corporatist" or what have you, there is not the slightest reason for thinking that the state, as such, will come to an end. There is no reason at all for thinking that complex human societies can forgo politics, governmental organization, planning, the rule of law, coercive enforcement of the rule of law, the paternalistic socialization of children and the ongoing, organized defense of the realm againt violent threats from potential predators. There is no reason at all to think that the many interlocking instututions in such a society can make everything work through "self-organization" or "emergent" patterns of pure volunatariness and spontaneous cooperation.

There is no millenial salvation coming at the "end of history". There will be no end of history.

You know why the left goes absolutely nowhere and has crushed by the forces of private capital power for over a half-century? Because it is largely composed of nitwit fantastics, dreamy melancholics drowning in barbarous and muddy ideological theorization, and thumb-sucking fools who are in deep, deep, deep denial about human history, human nature, and human social life.

People want a more just and equal world? Then they are going to have to fight for such a world, struggle to build it, think hard and in a concrete analytic fashion about how to organize it, put those organizational plans in place though the messy gringing work of politics and the cooercive mechanisms of an organized legal system, and then struggle to keep it from falling apart.

And the struggle will be endless, because human beings are an eratic mess, with abundant procliities toward aggression, violence, irrationality, selfishness, delusion, lazyness, fanaticism and hysteria. Decent human society comes from keeping all of these things in check via a well-thought out system of governance, not from attempts to eradicate them.

Society is hard work because human beings are just a species of wild animal with the special ability to domesticate and tame themselves. There is no race of pure and sinless angels waiting to emerge once all of the fascism, statism, or meanyism is scraped away.

Ralph Musgrave said...

The first of the above articles doesn't really criticise MMT. It just says MMT is a different way of running the existing system, which according to the far left is wicked, evil, capitalist, fascist, bla bla bla. As an MMTer, I have no quarrel with the idea that MMT is just a different way of running the existing system.

As to whether the existing system is fascist, George Orwell poked fun at the far left's over use of the word "fascist" 80 years ago.

Matt Franko said...

"The Left had better start looking for an exit from wage slavery altogether."

Ha here we are again with this oxymoron....

One is either working for wages or slaving for rations... one cannot 'slave for wages'... talk about "bewitchment of our language..." thanks Chomsky! (and he is supposed to be a linguistic person?!)

And this is revealing the writer says:

"I go back and forth on this one myself. It is difficult to figure out whether the European Union (EU) was designed to be ineffective in a crisis or if these people are just too stupid to be managing one of the world market’s most important regional institutions"

Yet then goes on to assume that it is not stupidity and it some sort of paranoid conspiracy (TIP: stop using the cannabis/or even worse now opiates!) when he just told you that he cannot figure this out...

And offers NO evidence that these people are qualified to be operating this system yet accuses them of all of this nefariousness....


Matt Franko said...

This is another good one:

"However, when a state borrows money capital, who is actually creating money?"

??????? LOL!

Not one metonym is enough we now have two "money capital"! An actual compound metonym here... good job!

This is like the guy David Harvey who has been teaching Marx for over 40 years and this is what he comes up with (drum roll please...)

"Capital is not a thing but a process in which money is perpetually sent in search of more money."


I'd flunk his course for sure!

y said...

Matt, if you are totally dependent on your next pay check just to feed yourself and your family, and to keep a roof over your head, you're a wage slave.

Tom Hickey said...

if you are totally dependent on your next pay check just to feed yourself and your family, and to keep a roof over your head, you're a wage slave.

This includes all of the poor by definition, unless they are eligible for government support.

But it doesn't take into account the considerable portion of the middle class a paycheck or two from bankruptcy and possible eviction and destitution. These are the "debt slaves," and there are lots and lots of them, with the numbers growing as the proportion of economic rent to productive gain increases through financialization. In fact, is is arguably the goal of financialization to turn as many people into debt slaves as possible by financializing the economy.

The objective of most people is to achieve a degree of financial independence; for without financial independence, other liberties are limited in scope.

"Financial independence" is an ambiguous term, meaning different things to different people and different classes. But at minimum it means having the wherewithal not to be dependent on the next few paychecks to stay above water.

This can be achieved in two ways, either personal savings sufficient for a lean period, including no drawing down saving for retirement, or social welfare program that substitute for saving, such as subsidized necessities like education, health care, pension funding, affordable housing, access to public transportation, etc, and a safety net for emergencies. These two alternatives are not mutually exclusive and can complement each other, depending on how a society wishes.

Matt Franko said...


ah, no... that would be inadequate wages that do not allow a robust means of subsistence for the individual or head of household and also do not allow any savings for same...

One is either working for wages or slaving for rations... what else is there? Perhaps "favors" or "gifting" or something maybe?

I cant think of anything else...


Matt Franko said...


do you think that the Peterson people are "at liberty" to stop doing what they are doing with all of their anti-deficit lunacy?

They look to me like they are flat out slaving for this stuff... not "working for wages"....

iow most if not all of these people dont have to really strike a lick for the rest of their lives yet we see them going at it everyday from ding to dong with their moron actions... very motivated/energized people...

So I dont see them as "working for wages" either... they are in effect "slaving" imo...


JK said...

I think Richard Wolff's Marxist conception makes sense...

Wage-slave is workers not having control over their own production. It's similar to the traditional use of the word slave because that which the slave produced was then owned and appropriated by the slave owner. The comparison is that whatever the employee produces is owned and appropriated by the employer. The slave recieved rations - the employee receives wages - in exchange for labor, and whatever the slave/employee produces is owned and appropriated by the slave owner/employer.

Whether or not wage-slavery in this sense is undesirable is up for debate. Seems to work ok. Maybe a better system will emerge in the future.

Detroit Dan said...

Dan K's rant reminds me of George Orwell's comments with regard to Rudyard Kipling (from

"One reason for Kipling's power [was] his sense of responsibility, which made it possible for him to have a world-view, even though it happened to be a false one. Although he had no direct connexion with any political party, Kipling was a Conservative, a thing that does not exist nowadays. Those who now call themselves Conservatives are either Liberals, Fascists or the accomplices of Fascists. He identified himself with the ruling power and not with the opposition. In a gifted writer this seems to us strange and even disgusting, but it did have the advantage of giving Kipling a certain grip on reality. The ruling power is always faced with the question, 'In such and such circumstances, what would you do?', whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions. Where it is a permanent and pensioned opposition, as in England, the quality of its thought deteriorates accordingly. Moreover, anyone who starts out with a pessimistic, reactionary view of life tends to be justified by events, for Utopia never arrives and 'the gods of the copybook headings', as Kipling himself put it, always return. Kipling sold out to the British governing class, not financially but emotionally. This warped his political judgement, for the British ruling class were not what he imagined, and it led him into abysses of folly and snobbery, but he gained a corresponding advantage from having at least tried to imagine what action and responsibility are like. It is a great thing in his favour that he is not witty, not 'daring', has no wish to ├ępater les bourgeois. He dealt largely in platitudes, and since we live in a world of platitudes, much of what he said sticks. Even his worst follies seem less shallow and less irritating than the 'enlightened' utterances of the same period, such as Wilde's epigrams or the collection of cracker-mottoes at the end of Man and Superman."

Anonymous said...

For me, I don’t think it is possible to have a political, economic, religious or even scientific debate without at least keeping in mind, the human debate. After 200,000 years on the road, what do we want, as human beings? Who are we? What do we value? Aside from all of the ideological issues, which are actually only as big as the space between the two ears. Our ‘Dreaming’! Or nightmare - if you are unfortunate enough to, like DanKv (and he is not alone) - look through a glass darkly and ‘see’ only wild animals trying to hold themselves in check. And yes, there is a race of “pure and sinless angels waiting to emerge”, and we are the ones we are waiting for. The race matures when it becomes responsible.

The messy grind of politics does not work because it is the same “aggressive, violent, irrational, selfish, delusional, lazy, fanatic, hysterical, barbarous, muddy, ideological, theorising, nitwit, dreamy, melancholic, thumb-sucking fools in deep deep deep denial of human history, nature and social life”, actually running Government, and the “coercive legal system” (LOL!!). So, no joy there! So every well thought out system of Govt. and Society is hi-jacked; and you cannot fix mind with the same tool that created the problems in the first place.

For me, there is something that brought all of the atoms and molecules together, the same as found throughout the entire universe, lifted up, and made more than dirt. Nature is incredibly efficient, and consciousness evolves – it is exceptional, far above the dirt. Whatever we are evolving into, I think it can be called ‘becoming human’ – I think it is out of ignorance we claim the ‘crown’ of creation on the one hand, or lament that human beings are little more than wild animals on the other. The truth is we are human: at first glance we have equal amounts of hate in us and equal amounts of love; equal amounts of stupidity and equal amounts of wisdom. The truth is we get to choose – and that makes us responsible. Choice empowers us.

But it is also true, if we were truly human and one with our innermost nature, we would be kind. I don’t think we should ever lose sight of the fact that there is ‘good’ in mankind. Nobody can respect another unless at first they respect themselves. We respect ourselves when we can see, feel and touch the good within. We should value what evolution has done for us, after untold kalpas, to create (as is currently believed) human consciousness out of dirt – and do everything in our power, to help consciousness unfold, in everybody, and everything. We should understand what Nature is doing for us and through us, and on such a beautiful planet – absolutely unique! We should be very very very proud to be human; because that is an infinitely greater evolutionary accomplishment than the temporal and temporary miasma we create for ourselves. Consciousness thrives wherever there is peace pulsing in the human heart! People should think deeply on this. Peace, I believe, is the Key to this age. It is a beautiful energy, a potential, coiled dormant in the human heart; a ‘tree of life’ held in seed form that needs to put forth branches, shade, blossom and fruit. It is our human reality and sovereignty. The search for peace IS human history. $Money is on a lower turn of the spiral, and is simply meant to minister to the reality of human need.

I don’t think this is optional: it is as necessary as food and water and clean air. I think conflict in the world is the direct consequence of unconsciousness and far below the level of ‘being human’ – in fact as DanKv says, closer to the animal world and instinct, rather than human reason and compassion. It is ‘choosing blindly’.

I think this is what Paul (Corinthians) meant when he spoke of growing up: - stop being childish and become human! The prize for a human being is not money or social position: - the prize is to feel, to experience, to enjoy the consciousness that you are, as it grows and unfolds; to understand the incredible energy in every human heart. That is our human potential.

Detroit Dan said...

Well said, JR. Thanks...