FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Real Demand Crisis

They tell us we’re experiencing a crisis of demand, but they have a backward idea of it.

To turn the picture right side up, we begin with the biggest lesson from the financial sucker punch hitting workers of the world this year–human value comes from having real work to do.

Today’s value crisis hits hardest where profits–and this is why they are called earnings–are failing to produce new tools. This is the demand crisis. Our demand that leaders take better care of the people’s tools has not been heard.

Of course, as the great London philosopher sez in Capital Volume One, tools are contradictory things. The better tools get, the fewer workers needed per unit.

Hence the labor-management contradiction. Hence the iron law of social revolution. Dearborn, then and now. Once you start making better tools you can’t help but create–what shall we call it? Change?

And the big problem with change is that people try to go around or over or under or WITHOUT the progressive re-production of tools. No new tools, no real change.

Capitalism is of course the holy system which speaks the language of the Gospel and promises to keep tool making dynamic and efficient so that value flies up from work. And it does have a metaphysical charm owing to our impression that profit and tools derive from some conjoined living form.

The great San Francisco economist Henry George said interest payments are legitimate social demands because the wealth we put back into tools needs to grow like anything else. Of course any living thing can demand disgusting amounts of fodder and grow to obscene proportions on that basis, but it should not use the words of Henry George as an excuse for that.

Now, if we are consistent in our terminology here, we could say that anyone who kills the living conjunction between earnings and tools can be considered anti-capital. But if we were consistent in just this way, we would demand triple damages from Wall Street for a trillion or more anti-capital crimes.

Instead of consistent terminology, however, what we are getting fed these days is nonsense soup. For example, in my home there is an electric soap box where people sit for hours yammering about how outraged they are at outsized cash payments going to workers at institutions who once made a contest of stashing wages and profits into silos that nobody can find.

Well, who was it let go of that money in the first place? Who should demand it back? Predatory lending is piracy. Predatory lending that inflates a mortgage bubble is piracy. To find pirates, you don’t have to go all the way to Tortuga or Mogadishu.

Today there is some question about how to value “toxic assets” that derive from predatory debt. But there’s a simple way to value the cost of such piracy. How much would it cost to give every penny back?

We can solve this demand crisis in at least two ways. First, we could demand that all the pirate trunks of “toxic assets” be loaded onto flatbed trucks and driven back to California where they belong. Overnight, California would need no more I.O.U.’s.

Or second–because to be honest about it we secretly admire pirates and sometimes find ourselves dreaming that we could join them–we can demand that all these big-bonus banking houses show us how they are putting their talents to work funding the next generation of tools that we have been needing as a nation since about this time last year.

We demand that they assist California, too.

Meanwhile, we know what the yammering soap boxers want us to believe about the demand crisis. They want us to believe anything really that will keep us from connecting the dots. In that direction there’s a demand crisis, too.

GREG MOSES is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. He is a contributor to Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK Press. He can be reached at: gmosesx@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. Moses is a member of the Texas Civil Rights Collaborative. He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

August 11, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
Why Capitalism is in Constant Conflict With Democracy
Paul Street
Defund Fascism, Blue and Orange
Richard C. Gross
Americans Scorned
Andrew Levine
Trump and Biden, Two Ignoble Minds Here O’erthrown
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Nationalism Has Led to the Increased Repression of Minorities
Sonali Kolhatkar
Trump’s Presidency is a Death Cult
Colin Todhunter
Pushing GMO Crops into India: Experts Debunk High-Level Claims of Bt Cotton Success
Valerie Croft
How Indigenous Peoples are Using Ancestral Organizing Practices to Fight Mining Corporations and Covid-19
David Rovics
Tear Gas Ted Has a Tantrum in Portland
Dean Baker
There is No Evidence That Generous Unemployment Benefits are Making It Difficult to Find Workers
Robert Fantina
War on Truth: How Kashmir Struggles for Freedom of Press
Dave Lindorff
Trump Launches Attack on Social Security and Medicare
Elizabeth Schmidt
COVID-19 Poses a Huge Threat to Stability in Africa
Parth M.N.
Coping With a Deadly Virus, a Social One, Too
Thomas Knapp
The “Election Interference” Fearmongers Think You’re Stupid
Binoy Kampmark
Mealy-Mouthed Universities: Academic Freedom and the Pavlou Problem Down Under
Mike Garrity
Emperor Trump Loses Again in the Northern Rockies in Big Win for Bull Trout, Rivers and the ESA
Alex Lawson
34 Attorneys General Call to Bust Gilead’s Pharma Monopoly on COVID Treatment Remdesivir
August 10, 2020
Gerald Sussman
Biden’s Ukrainegate Problem
Vijay Prashad – Érika Ortega Sanoja
How the U.S. Failed at Its Foreign Policy Toward Venezuela
Daniel Warner
Geneva: The Home of Lost Causes
Mike Hastie
The Police Force Stampede in Portland on August 8, 2020 
Jack Rasmus
Trump’s Executive Orders: EOs as PR and FUs
Rev. William Alberts
Cognitive Without Conscience
David Altheide
Politicizing Fear Through the News Media
F. Douglas Stephenson
Is Big Pharma More Interested in Profiteering Than Protecting Us From Coronavirus?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Money Plague
Howard Lisnoff
Revolutionaries Living in a System of Growing Fascism
Ralph Nader
Donald Trump is Defeating Himself
Lynnette Grey Bull
The Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Human Rights Emergency is Not a Photo-Op for Ivanka Trump
Victor Grossman
Some Come, Others Go
Binoy Kampmark
Death From the Sky: Hiroshima and Normalised Atrocities
The Stop Golden Rice Network
Why We Oppose Golden Rice
Michael D. Knox
After Nagasaki, the U.S. Did Not Choose Peace
Elliot Sperber
A Tomos 
Weekend Edition
August 07, 2020
Friday - Sunday
John Davis
The COVID Interregnum
Louis Yako
20 Postcard Notes From Iraq: With Love in the Age of COVID-19
Patrick Cockburn
War and Pandemic Journalism: the Truth Can Disappear Fast
Eve Ottenberg
Fixing the COVID Numbers
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Every Which Way to Lose
Paul Street
Trump is Not Conceding: This is Happening Here
Robert Hunziker
The World on Fire
Rob Urie
Neoliberal Centrists and the American Left
John Laforge
USAF Vet Could Face ‘20 Days for 20 Bombs’ for Protest Against US H-Bombs Stationed in Germany
Andrew Levine
Clyburn’s Complaint
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail