From a thread about the position of art in decaying capitalism:
“Why shouldn’t art, music and literature, and the artists who produce it, suffer under decadence as does everything else?”
Yes this is one of the crucial political issues in this debate isn’t it? Our basic argument is that decadence does not mean the full halting of the productive forces but rather their progressive blocking. As Trotsky says somewhere art is more vulnerable and more sensitive to the effects of decadence than any other area of culture, so we can say without a doubt that art today is blocked, stifled, impotent, but clearly creativity, as a productive force, still attempts to flourish within increasingly impossible restrictions and contradictions. All this helps to confirm our analysis of decadence.
But I think it’s really difficult to then make judgments about exactly how things are blocked, and in exactly what way, and point to the evidence for it in individual artists, composers, musical genres etc. Personally I just don’t know enough about music theory etc to be able to judge one way or the other. Some of the arguments on this thread (allowing for it to be not all 100% serious) are more questions of individual taste than anything else - the kind of questions that will no doubt still be hotly debated in a future communist society...
But to come back to our understanding of decadence, one of the really interesting things for me is to look at the period around the turn of the 20th century, on the very eve of decadence, which is also an incredibly creative and innovative time in the arts as well as science; Fauvism, Expressionism and Cubism in art, Schoenberg in music, Joyce in literature, not to mention psychoanalysis and relativity theory... This proves the final stage of progressive capitalism was also in many ways its highest stage, in terms of ideas, creativity etc. But it also means that these kinds of artistic developments often have a very complex, contradictory character, containing both progressive and reactionary elements. I guess as decadence continues you can say that the progressive element ends to diminish, although it doesn’t disappear completely...
From a thread about the fundamental economic contradictions of capitalism
First I need to make an apology to comrades, the following post is rather long but I have not been able to participate until now. I have tried to limit the post but brevity is not one of my strong points. This is a very positive discussion on the question of the causes of the crisis, which has drawn out several important questions: is the fall in rate of profit the causes of overproduction or is it the limit of the market? What is meant by the extension of the market? How does the extension of the market impact on the rate of profit? How do we understand Marx’s concept of the mass of profit and its importance in relation to the crisis of overproduction? The question of the inter-relationship between the constant process of the development of the means of production under the pressure of competition, the fall in prices and the rate of profit. The way that the contradictions of capitalism flow and move through the relations of production, and what is the relationship of this dynamic to the cause and development of the crisis?