Next MDF Meeting, 27th January 21018. Topic: Bitcoins - a saviour or a new imperialism?

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Next MDF Meeting, 27th January 21018. Topic: Bitcoins - a saviour or a new imperialism?
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The next MDF Meeting will be held on 27th January 2018 at the Rutland Arms, 86 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS. All welcome 

 

Bitcoins:  a saviour or a new imperialism?

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins are the new in-thing for the world economy. They provide a technological solution to internet trading and release the global economy from some of the limitations placed by nation states. 

Does that mean they will weaken capitalism?  Can they provide a technological solution to capitals financial crisis?  Do they attack the grip of imperialism on the world economy or do they strengthen it?  Are they just another financial bubble that will burst before long?  Can they be used by workers in future to convert a capitalist economy to communism?

Whatever your thoughts on these questions,  Bitcoins etc are now being presented as the latest in a series of  idealistic technological solutions to the pressures of living in capitalist society.   Bitcoins are just one new element in the world economy and we wish to discuss their role in a capitalist economy that keeps changing rapidly.   Just how is modern day imperialism changing and how are the pressures impacting upon us all.

jk1921
Timely, if a rather specific,

Timely, if a rather specific, topic. Check out this bit by American leftist comedia Lee Camp who sees all kinds of radical potential in crypto-currencies. There does seems to be a discussion to be had about the nature of accumulation and specualtion today, but also the role of the (nation) state in guaranteeing the conditions for the latter. Are we seeing a process of the weakening or emptying out of the nation state today? If so, is that a result or a cause of processes at work in the realm of accumulation?

 

 

Link
Agreed JK there seems to be

Agreed JK there seems to be issue about the weakening of the nation state in the process of globalisation through the role of international finance, global firms and the regionalisation of economies emphasises globalisation but the national state still remains the core of how capitalism maintains control on a social level and imperialism remains as the relationship between nation states.  I see this as a reflection of the contradiction between the forces of production and the relations of production and in that sense politically the nation state must try to maintain its authority. 

 

jk1921
Agree with all of that. There

Agree with all of that. There are a number of different axes though that could be explored. To what extent is it that the state itself is being surpassed by globalized production, as opposed to the specific emptying out of the nation-state form, which in many ways fuels populism, etc.? In other words, the territorially bounded state form remains, but it is progressively emptied of its "national" content, provoking all kinds of socio-political turmoil. To what extent is this a conscious project of the bourgeoisie today and to what extent is it a sort of blow-back process of the forces of production, technology, etc, escaping the socio-political forms of capitalist modernity without which the legitimacy (if not the actual power) of that very order starts to crumble?

Link
Not sure we can give definite

Not sure we can give definite answers at present.  It seems clear that globalisation is a sign of the limitations of national economies as industries press to overcome those limitations hence the regional trade agreements and global firms and so forth but then populism seems like a political or social reaction against that trend.  For me this has reaffirmed the importance of the nation and nationalism to capitalism that suggests its unlikely to be 'emptied of its national content' as you say

 

jk1921
At least not without a fight

Link wrote:

 For me this has reaffirmed the importance of the nation and nationalism to capitalism that suggests its unlikely to be 'emptied of its national content' as you say

 

At least not without a fight. But remember Trudeau has already declared Canada the world's first "post-national state." Of course, that probabaly wouldn't fly politically in the US, UK, etc. (Not that it went over without a hitch in Canada itself).

zimmerwald1915
That claim rings more than a

That claim rings more than a bit hollow.

jk1921
Which one?

zimmerwald1915 wrote:

That claim rings more than a bit hollow.

Which claim?

zimmerwald1915
Trudeau's, that Canada is

Trudeau's, that Canada is "post-national."

jk1921
Agree, but its nevertheless

Agree, but its nevertheless an extraordinary thing for a head of government to say with a straight face. It does represent something afoot in the mindset of a certain faction of the bourgeoisie today, I think. You can hear echos of it in the Democrats' response to Trump's bombastic comments about "shithole countries." Still, I don't think Hillary, had she won, would claim to preside over a "post-national" state.