World economic crisis: The demise of credit

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Hawkeye
World economic crisis: The demise of credit
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: World economic crisis: The demise of credit. The discussion was initiated by Hawkeye.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

Hawkeye
Overproduction in arms

The article 'World economic crisis: The demise of credit', as in WR of May 2011, contains a really usefully informative section as from "Capitalism produces more commodities than its markets can absorb"... to "... Second World War: Export or Die."  That is not to say that the rest of the article lacks merit, but those nine paragraphs, some of them very short, are well worth repeating, in order that many more people will come to understand what the hell has been, is, and is likely to continue going on, thus emphasising the need for the working class of the world to put an end to capitalism.

I believe that it would be useful to link that analysis with an explanation as to how it relates to the massive arms industries and arms trading under capitalism.  It is standard policy to point out how imperialists seek control of territories.  It could be well worthwhile to show how territories are needed not only to gain markets for arms deals, but for testing and displaying the comparative destructive powers of various types of weaponry and their support requirements, such as military vehicles and so on.  Sales targets are essential for profits, for which maybe any war will do.  But we should also remember that many workers get jobs related to military concerns, so their integration into the system raises numerous questions too.

Alf
Arms production

 There certainly is overproduction in arms in relation to human need!

The enormous sums of human labour that vanish into arms production is ultimately an expression of the profound economic impasse facing the system, the necessity for each nation state to arm itself to the teeth in the competition for markets, raw materials and spheres of influence. Economically speaking however producing weapons, while it can bring a profit to the individual arms producer (whether private or state) who sells them, is a pure waste for global capital - it doesn't re-enter into the cycle of accumulation but ends up being physically destroyed as well as destroying other products of human labour and human labour power itself. And in contrast to the ascendant period of capitalism, it is no longer used to open up new fields for the expansion of capital but simply to grab the already existing markets or capital of one's rival imperialisms.

Don't know whether that is of any use..... 

jk1921
There is an emerging

There is an emerging discourse in the U.S. that it is unable to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for "economic" reasons, i.e. to do so would amount to a massive layoff of workers involved in reproducing the war effort on every level: transport, health care, catering, etc. Numerous contracts would have to be cancelled or wound down to the point that it would constitute another major convulsion to an already struggling economy. I don't know what the ultimate veractiy of such an assertion is though.........

Hawkeye
Overproduction staggering

Further to comment of 24-5-11, it occurred to me to question whether the occasional totally 'sold out' of a product might suggest a flaw in the overall argument against capitalist overproduction, but, of course, when looking at the overall picture, if workers are able to spend part of wages on a product which gets sold out, then they are not spending its price on something else.

There is more than a single overall event in the production of some goods.  In the book publishing business, when it is very difficult to calculate just how many copies of one title are likely to be actually sold soon after it gets onto the market, the firm will sometimes get more sets of text printed than the number of covers, because the cost of covers adds considerably to the cost of a book.  If the first lot sells well and it looks as if more will be ordered, then more covers can be printed to go with the spare sets of text, which is known as 'bind-up'.

Then there is also the 'just-in-time' production and supply of components and/or completely finished goods, but that's another story, and again doesn't alter the overall wasteful chaos of capitalism.

petey
jk, i wouldn't say what you

jk, i wouldn't say what you mention is an emerging discourse, i'd say it's been both true and talked about for quite some time, certainly as long as i've been politically interested (lets say then 40 years) and, i have no doubt, since soon after WW2, when the value of military contracting to the reach/power of the government and the capitalists became quite apparent.