1. Not to file too fine a point onto David Cameron’s head, but he certainly made a right cock-up of that one didn’t he? A regular old Thomas Hardy he conjured, didn’t he? Here he comes home, having stuck his thumb into the EU pie, felt one or more things round and soft– “a plum!” he thinks, “What a good boy am I!”– and pulls out hard, only to discover that the softs and rounds were his own testicles. Oh, the shock, and pain, of recognition. Fecking brilliant.
2. Cameron resigns, but not until October. Britain votes out of the EU, but not out until….well, nobody knows. Boris Johnson, playing Yeltsin to Cameron’s Gorbachev, pulls himself out of the race to replace Cameron. Farage pulls out because……well, because that’s what the British ruling class has perfected over the last 70 years of dissembling, and disassembling an empire. “Pull-outs are our specialty.”
It’s not that Cameron has created a “political vacuum” in government. It’s that the British ruling class and its institutions have been a vacuum, a veritable universe of anti-matter, for decades.
“What? You thought we were serious?”
“You didn’t realize we were just playing?”
“You expect us to submit a notification under Article 50? There’s an Article 50? Crikey, Jean-Claude, we’ve never read that far into the agreements.”
“You can’t believe we actually intended to go through with this, can you? We’re pull-out and put-on artists.”
“We were pissed. We were taking the piss. Like at public school.”
“You want to know our plan? What plan? What, do we look like Bolsheviks to you? We all worked, and work, for Rupert Murdoch. Didn’t that give you a clue? There’s no plan. Just balls-up and tits out on the front page, hacking a murdered girl’s cell phone, and fucking a pig’s head in the weekend supplement.”
3. Welcome to wrecker capitalism, 21st century edition. A crumbling ship sailing, at slow speed, to nowhere on a sea of sleaze. Captained by fools, alcoholics, and spoiled brats, the crew thinks everything that needs doing will be done by someone else or by drones, while they are busy with the really important stuff on their touchscreens.
History chooses fools, alcoholics, spoiled brats, gobshites, punters,tossers, because they’re convenient; there are lots of them; they’re the lowest common denominator of the mode of accumulation.
4. The European Union is not breaking apart because Britain has voted to leave. The Tories inability to figure out how to leave should make that perfectly clear. The EU is breaking apart because it, the EU, is an organization designed to service capital accumulation, and that capital accumulation is breaking down.
The EU is what it is today precisely because of what it has been since day one, what it will always be, and what it has done since 2008. Everything for capitalism! And that everything– layoffs, nationalizations, privatizations, capital injections, QE, LTRO, EFSF, QE2, MOUs 1,2,3…..n, bail-out, bail in, hair cuts, low interest rates, lower interest rates, negative interest rates, implants, increased taxes, lowered taxes, labor restructuring, free trade, manipulated trade, free markets, government intervention…….everything has failed.
Back in 2008, everyone everywhere had a plan and all the plans were the same– “buy some time.”
Of course the problem, and the solution, doesn’t come with the “buying of time.” Capitalism doesn’t buy time. It appropriates unpaid time; the unpaid labor time of others. Capital requires rapidly expanding pools of unpaid labor, of expropriated time. The proportion of unpaid labor has to increase disproportionately to the mass of labor time. Capital “buys time” by not paying.
The mechanisms for extracting and realizing this unpaid labor time, however, reduce the mass of labor time that can be aggrandized and converted into value, by expelling it from production ; no matter how great the disproportion, as the mass of exploited labor is reduced, the increments of accumulation shrink. Profit becomes loss, and nobody wants to hear the bourgeoisie scream in the empty space of their own making.
The big slowdown in the weak recovery from long recession has been going for about a year now. World trade in 2015 fell to its lowest level since 2009. In 2016, US property sales have declined about 50 percent from the previous year. The WTO notes that 2016 will be an “unprecedented 5th consecutive years of below average growth in global trade. Corporate defaults, globally, in 2016 are at their highest rate since 2009. IPOs on European Union exchanges have declined by 1/3 year over year. Negative-interest rate debt amounts now exceed $10 trillion. The World Bank has downgraded its estimate of global economic growth again, this time from 2.9 to 2.4 percent.
And that’s not the half of it. Or it is only the half of it. The other half is and will be increased attacks on migrants and refugees. Germany is planning to deny migrants from Romania and Bulgaria, fellow EU member states, access to unemployment benefits for 5 years.
What will the bourgeoisie do? What they always do. Attack, dissemble, destroy. Wrecker capitalism it is, and wrecker capitalism it will be. This wrecker capitalism is looking for the old lightning in the bottle, the old razzle dazzle, the old reliable– a war; and not a little one like that one in Iraq; or the one in Libya, but a big one. Wrecker capitalism looks east across Germany and Poland. “Once a commie, always a commie,” the latest crop of brats, and fools think. “Deep battle? That’s so obsolete.”
No, it isn’t.
July 7, 2016.
Posted: 07 Jul 2016 01:40 PM PDT
Regarding the valorization process, however, the increment of valorization is magnified not by the depreciation of the value of the wage, not by the the reduction in production time alone, but in the reduction of turnover time— shrinking the lag between production and realization, reducing the gap between production and circulation, such that capital recuperates its “advanced” outlay more quickly, and recirculates that recuperation such that its subsequent outlays for “v” and “c” are paid for, more or less, with “house money,” requiring no following “original” outlays.
Now as Marx makes clear in the Grundrissee and the other Economic Manuscripts, the very mechanisms that reduce turnover times for portions of the total capital– the investments in fixed assets which only transfer their value in fractions– also entail the slowdown in the turnover of the entire capital. Thus while the investment in fixed assets only participates incrementally in the valorization process, the entire investment is required to participate in the labor process.
EDIT: So that capital expansions are (almost always) initially indicated by expanded and expanding investments in the means of communication and the means of transportation. “Telephones and trucks” used to be the phrase used on Wall Street to identify the “upticks.” And… at the same time, the investment in these assets, these improved, more efficient, better performing assets, entails a slowdown in the realization of their value– something made so painfully evident in the overproduction of container ships, with total capacity doubling between 2013 and 2016, revenue per container at record lows, having declined 25% since 2015, and the adaptation of “slow steaming” techniques to keep the fleet in service and avoid the “downtime” and costs of laying the ships up.
Said an official of the Maersk group, referring to the automated container terminal Maersk operates in Rotterdam, “It takes a long time to realize the returns.”
The comrade at theplanningmotive.com has explored this. And I’ll be rereading volume 2, just to see how much I’m fooling myself.
July 7, 2016
Here and here