Monday, October 26, 2020

Modern Monetary Theory and the crisis of capitalism: Part two — Nick Beams

Capitalist production, with the development of the credit system, Marx noted, “constantly strives to overcome this metallic barrier, which is both a material and imaginary barrier to wealth, while time and again breaking its head on it.” Money in the form of precious metal, he insisted, remains the foundation from which the credit system “can never break free.” [Marx, Capital Volume III, p. 708, p. 741]…
It is said there is really nothing new under the sun, and MMT, as advanced by Kelton, is very much old wine in new bottles. It is the modern-day version of theories that have been advanced in previous periods of capitalist crisis to divert working people from the real tasks at hand. Not surprisingly, it has been seized on by sections of the pseudo-left such as Democratic Socialists of America member and congressional representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who maintains that MMT must be “a large part of the conversation.”

The way forward is not the false perspective of some reform of the capitalist system via the “tricks of circulation,” but its overthrow by the working class to establish a workers’ government in order to open the way for the establishment of a democratically controlled and organised socialist economy in which the vast productive forces are used to meet human need.
These quotes present the article in a worse light than it deserves. It is continuation of a Marxist (not Marxian) critique, which has value on it own merits. MMT doesn't directly confront capitalist system that is based on class structure, class power, economic rent, and rent extraction. 

The question is whether capitalism could address these issues in a way that resolves them and remains capitalistic. Not if "capitalism" means favoring capital as factor over labor (people) and land (environment) because capital accumulation is the sine qua non of growth "that lifts all boats."

But if the only alternative an open-ended "socialism" that Marx never specified and has never been achieved — attempts so far have gotten stuck in the stage of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" — then it is rather unclear what the choice is. 

Rather, Marx stated that change of the social and political infrastructure comes with a change in the mode of production. What that would look like is not clear, although it may be coming as the world transitions from the analog to the digital era.

Modern Monetary Theory and the crisis of capitalism: Part two
Nick Beams

1 comment:

Peter Pan said...

Just vote for the SEP... the rest will follow.