5 Dec 2021, 11:23 pm
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Ahead of Print.
In the wake of Böhm-Bawerk’s criticism that Marx’s law of value runs contrary to empirical facts, Marxian economics has developed mainly in two different directions: one based on the simple commodity production and the other on the mathematical identity of value with prices of production (the transformation problem). The author agrees with neither, arguing that Marx intended to base the law of value on the production process of capital, as in Capital Volume 1, independently of Capital Volume 3. However, the notion of this process and the law of value have not been sufficiently explained in Volume 1. Marx presents the value of a commodity as socially necessary labour objectified in Chapter 1 on the commodity, and later applies this rule to capitalist commodity products in Chapter 7. Pointing out the defects of this method, this article relocates the presentation of the dual nature of labour to the Labour Process (Chapter 7, Section 1), and the proof of the substance of value or the law of value to the Valorization Process (Chapter 7, Section 2). The Labour Process plays a key role in Volume 1, but it contains a fatal flaw. Consequently, Section 2 ends up with insufficient explanation. By reconstructing the Labour Process and the Process of Creating Value and Surplus value, the author confirms the meaning and reality of the law of value in Chapter 7, Section 2.
30 Nov 2021, 3:16 am
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Ahead of Print.
Studies in several national jurisdictions have highlighted the limitations of joint health and safety committees and worker representatives in affecting change in working conditions. Using Canadian data, this article focuses on the argument that many health and safety committees and worker representatives have been captured or substantially controlled through the State’s promotion of an internal responsibility system framed around a technocratic partnership. The historical development of this framing is first understood within a political economic framework which highlights several major influences, followed by a field theory analysis which explains how these control relations are established by management within workplace settings.
29 Nov 2021, 2:07 am
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Ahead of Print.
The Eurozone crisis and its austerity-centred management opened up a fertile ground for the so-called ‘radical left parties’ (RLPs) and their anti-austerity agenda. Moreover, it provided a unique opportunity for this party family to enhance its rather underdeveloped transnational cooperation. Sharing several objective and subjective features, SYRIZA (Greece) and Podemos (Spain) – arguably the two most prominent European RLPs today – seemed particularly well-placed to develop a strong transnational cooperation. However, the current literature has hardly addressed whether such expectations have been borne out. Indeed, despite a recently increased interest in the radical left, there are still very few studies focusing on the transnational cooperation among RLPs. Building on documentary research and qualitative elite interviews covering the 2014–2017 period, the article has two main objectives: first, to map the cooperation between SYRIZA and Podemos by identifying the key channels and actors of this process; second, to assess their cooperation over said period, with a focus on the factors fuelling and obstructing it. The article argues that the relationship between the two parties reached its peak around SYRIZA’s electoral victory in January 2015 but declined following its deal with the ‘Troika’ 6 months later, which blatantly contradicted SYRIZA’s anti-austerity programme. It is shown that while the main incentives behind their cooperation have been their shared opposition to neoliberalism, the European Union’s (EU) reaction to the crisis, and the similarities in their countries’ economic situations, the main obstacles hindering that cooperation have been the primacy of national politics and the diverging views on the EU. The findings arguably provide useful insights for the wider left transnational cooperation today, in a time of renewed global capitalist crisis, when such cooperation is perhaps more relevant than ever.
27 Nov 2021, 1:28 am
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Ahead of Print.
This article explores the terrain of social conflict as it developed across advanced capitalist democracies throughout the ‘age of austerity’ that followed the global economic crisis. It shows how a (broadly defined) working class mobilised in different ways in different capitalist contexts, contesting the institutional forms (and the crises that emerged from them) which constitute each particular model of capitalism. Considered this way, we are able to conceptualise and explain the forms of working-class mobilisation that have emerged in opposition to contemporary neoliberalism. In doing so, we go beyond a narrow focus on workplace-focused or trade-union-led forms of working-class mobilisation, highlighting the continuing contestation of neoliberal capitalism. Drawing on a protest event analysis of 1,167 protest events in five countries (Spain, Germany, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom), and developing a Régulation Theory approach to the study of protest/social movements, we provide an overview of the most visible patterns of social contestation in each national neoliberal capitalist context, tracing links to the institutional configurations that constitute those national models of capitalism. While there exists no direct (linear) process of causality between the model of neoliberal capitalism and the forms of mobilised dissent witnessed, nevertheless we are able to clearly trace the different pressures of capital accumulation that have given rise to the protest/social movements identified in each case, thereby allowing us to gain a better insight into both each particular model of capitalism and the forms of dissent that constitute it.
21 Nov 2021, 10:58 pm
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Ahead of Print.
The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has confirmed neoliberal capitalism’s inability to meet critical social needs. In the United Kingdom, mutual aid initiatives based on ‘solidarity not charity’ blossomed in a context of state incompetence and private sector negligence – including Scrub Hub, a network of groups that autonomously produced personal protective equipment and provided it directly to health workers. Using a convergence of autonomist and anarchist perspectives, this article examines Scrub Hub as an example of emergent autonomous political economies and considers the challenges of resisting co-optation into volunteerist hierarchies and suppression by the neoliberal state.
18 Nov 2021, 2:04 am
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Ahead of Print.
This article examines how the Bank for International Settlements, as a collective organic intellectual of finance capital, has sought to maintain the hegemony of financial globalization in the context of an increasingly fractured global order following the 2007–2009 financial crisis. I show how the Bank for International Settlements’ defence of financial globalization has pivoted around the construction of a new ‘economic imaginary’ of global capitalism in which the global financial cycle, which culminates in systemic financial crises, threatens economic and political stability. Asserting that this cycle can be ‘properly managed’, the Bank for International Settlements has advocated a set of formal shifts in macro-policy frameworks. Focusing on the temporality of economic governance as envisioned by the Bank for International Settlements, I highlight two important dimensions of the organization’s discourse: the reduction of policy to process and the fetishization of policy innovation. Here, the pursuit of principles of ‘good’ economic management is prioritized over the achievement of concrete economic or social outcomes. In traversing this economic imaginary, this article offers insights into how global capitalism and its management are envisioned by elites in the current period of hegemonic disorganization and political-economic turmoil.
1 Nov 2021, 1:48 am
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Ahead of Print.
This article aims to examine the dynamics of the Chilean economy as a consequence of actions taken by companies whose aim is to make profits. As such, the economic analysis used is Marxist and makes use of those classical indicators described in Capital (Rate of Surplus-Value, Organic Composition of Capital and Rate of Profit). It is maintained that with the Marxist method, we can discover that behind the accumulation of incomes lies the fact that out of each 8 hours worked, only 3 finance wages and 5 benefit the owners of capital. That fraction of the unpaid labour received by capital but invested back as new capital, plus that ‘excess’ surplus value that is consequence of high copper prices, raises the physical, but not necessarily the value, capital-per-worker ratio. As a consequence, that relation of exploitation to capital accumulation, which Marx called the Rate of Profit, is found to fall, rise and then fall again. We understand that various approaches have been made to calculate the classical indicators and include some of them as alternative methods in our results.
1 Nov 2021, 1:45 am
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Ahead of Print.
Marxist scholarship has documented the implications of ‘neoliberal’ reforms to public services. This scholarship often considers these reforms as class projects which have disciplined working populations and created new opportunities for capitalist profit-making. But in this article, we shift emphasis to the internal dysfunction that shapes states’ pursuit of market-oriented policy agendas. We place closer focus on the specific levers through which marketising reforms are implemented, noting the conflicting pressures they unleash, and the cracks this may open through which a more democratic agenda can be advanced. Taking the French hospital sector as an example, we show how attempts to expand and intensify competition in public services have coincided with attempts to decentralise governance to the regional level. While ostensibly part of the same ‘reforming’ policy agenda, marketising policies have a strongly centralising logic which has in practice undermined efforts to develop meaningful regional planning. These institutional tensions have catalysed new political currents, as the relationship between public authorities and private sector actors has become more overtly conflictual. We argue that Marxist theorists of the state need to pay closer attention to the often dysfunctional relationship between different branches of the state, and that in the context of neoliberal public service reform, the tensions between central and regional states are particularly salient. We conclude that opponents of the marketisation of public services need to pay attention to the contested and ambiguous nature of ‘decentralisation’: while it is often a rhetorical cover for marketisation, there are opportunities for the left in demanding more meaningful and authentic forms of regional planning.
28 Oct 2021, 3:46 am
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Ahead of Print.
This article uses John Kelly’s mobilisation framework, with its foundational concept of injustice, to explore workers’ propensity towards unionism in England’s outsourced social care sector. Drawing on 60 interviews with union organisers and officers, care workers, support workers and care company managers, this research highlights the difficulties of union organising in the sector and explores theorisations of mobilising. The research contends that for mobilisation theory to provide insight into relationships between work and unionism, varieties of injustice and collectivism need to be contextualised. Paid care provision generates both employment-related injustices and care-related injustices, which lead to divergent collective identities and attitudes towards unions. An absence of a coherent entity for workers to attach blame to – within a context where private providers frequently remain reliant on state funding levels – affects whether injustice and collectivism progress to mobilisation and unionisation.
26 Oct 2021, 5:22 am
Capital & Class
Capital &Class, Volume 45, Issue 4, Page 605-607, December 2021.