The laws of the capitalist crisis dominate

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AT the centre of the current media drive to find out, identify, and persecute the individuals, whether bankers and/or politicians who are held to be responsible for the world crisis of capitalism, is the burning bourgeois desire to deny that there is a crisis of the capitalist system itself, whose lawful development takes place regardless of what capitalists, or even regulators, are thinking about, or think is taking place.

If it is a matter of finding the guilty men, then the crisis is man-made, a product of wrong ideas and bad motives, and is not an intrinsic part of the capitalist system.

It is true that this reasoning is very thin, and bears no examination, since there have been slumps, booms and then slumps again since the capitalist order emerged out of feudal society, in the only way that it could, through social revolutions, in 1642 in England and 1789 in France.

The emergence of monopoly capitalism and the rule of finance capital, which distinguishes imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, has seen the slump-boom crises reinforced by financial crashes, when mountains of debt cannot be repaid, and cashless banks lead to entire industries and nations collapsing, for lack of money.

This catastrophe is not the doings of evil men, it is the product of the contradictions of the capitalist system driving the operation of its laws of development.

In his preface to the second edition of Capital, Marx quotes approvingly the review of his work by A Sieber, a Russian political economist.

Sieber wrote of what was basic in Marx’s ‘critical inquiry’, stating: ‘Marx treats the social movement as a process of natural history, governed by laws not only independent of human will, consciousness and intelligence, but rather, on the contrary, determining that will, consciousness and intelligence… That is to say, that not the idea, but the material phenomenon alone can serve as its starting point.’

The alleged banking ‘masters of the universe’ were in fact presiding over the emergence of the greatest economic crisis in the history of human kind. The fact they they considered that they were doing the exact opposite is an expression of the historic crisis of capitalism, and the theoretical bankruptcy of the bourgeoisie.

Marx approvingly quotes Sieber’s contention that ‘The one thing which is of moment to Marx is to find the law of the phenomena with whose investigation he is concerned… Of still greater moment to him is the law of their variation, of their development, ie, of their transition from one form into another, from one series of connections into a different one.

‘This law once discovered, he investigates in detail the effects in which it manifests itself in social life.’

He writes that for Marx ‘it is quite enough, if he proves, at the same time, both the necessity of the present order of things, and the necessity of another order into which the first must necessarily pass over, and this is all the same, whether men believe or do not believe it, whether they are conscious or unconscious of it.’

Marx concludes the preface by giving the bourgeoisie its last rites: ‘The contradictions inherent in the movement of capitalist society impress themselves upon the practical bourgeois most strikingly in the changes of the periodic cycle, through which modern industry runs, and whose crowning point is the universal crisis.

‘This crisis is once again approaching, although as yet, but in its preliminary stage; and by the universality of its theatre and the intensity of its action it will drum dialectics even into the heads of the mushroom upstarts of the new, holy Prusso-German empire.’

In fact the approaching universal crisis erupted to destroy the Prusso-German empire, and saw with the 1917 October revolution, the emergence of the beginnings of another, new order into which the old order must necessarily pass.

Today’s universal crisis, with the intensity of its action, has not only greatly frightened the world bourgeoisie, but is creating the conditions for the new socialist order to triumph through a revolutionary burial of capitalism as a world system.