Friday 31 May 2019

Getting all Tied Up (4)

This series considers Paul Mason’s “Risks are ‘a Thing’… and so is the Death of Capitalism”, a critique of MMT.

In the previous post I argued that Prof. Tcherneva’s quote doesn’t support Mason’s “finding” of a monetary theory of value native to MMT.

To buttress his case on the alleged differences between MMT and Marxism Mason invokes Prof. Scott Ferguson’s article “Some Remarks on MMT & Marxism”, from where Mason takes this quote, which, in his opinion, sums up neatly said differences:
Marxism assumes that money is a private, alienating, and crisis-ridden exchange relationship that ought to be overcome. Yet MMT holds money to be a boundless public utility that, while by no means untroubled, is well-equipped to actualize radical collectivist ends.
Ferguson’s views on the differences between Marxism and MMT are the subject of this post.

Sunday 26 May 2019

Workers’ Mail: “We Are Not Going Away”.

It ain’t over until it’s over, for Australian workers and for kids fighting for climate change action. Yep, we got knocked down. But we get up again. As that old Chumbawamba song says: They’re never gonna keep us down.

First, Sally McManus’ message to us, workers and trade union members:

Friday 24 May 2019

Getting all Tied Up (3)

This series considers Paul Mason’s “Risks are ‘a Thing’… and so is the Death of Capitalism”, a critique of MMT.

Mason believes to have detected in MMT a monetary theory of value. In the previous post I argued that is just a mirage. So, where did he take a wrong turn?

Much like Marxists, MMTers write a lot. Out of the ever expanding MMT literature, academic and popular, this single sentence, taken from one of Prof. Pavlina Tcherneva’s papers, is the smoking gun proving the existence of an MMT ToV: “since the currency is a public monopoly, the government has at its disposal a direct way of determining its value (Mason’s emphasis).

Wednesday 22 May 2019

What’s Wrong with the CFMEU-QLD?

In the aftermath of these disastrous federal elections, that is a question that all of us, Australian workers and trade union members who took to social media and attended rallies and street protests and donated our money and our time by volunteering should be asking ourselves.

Under the leadership of Sally McManus and Michele O’Neil, we proudly fought back against the COALition’s class warfare against workers all over Australia. We campaigned to see an end to the COALition’s endless efforts to erode our wages and our working conditions. We did that not only in our own names, but in the names of all workers in this country.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Why Didn’t Anyone See it Coming?

That’s not the question talking heads are asking; they are busy thinking about the whys and hows of the election results. Deep thoughts.

However, they should stop and ask themselves precisely that question. More precisely, how come Newspoll, YouGov/Galaxy, Ipsos, Essential, and Roy Morgan, all trusted opinion pollsters, could miss so badly the result of the 2019 election?

Aggregate of two-party-preferred election polling for the 2019 Australian federal election. [A]

Saturday 18 May 2019

Elections: the Morning After.


It’s a good thing that, in the great scheme of things, Australia is not a major CO2 emitter and, therefore, the solution to the looming climate catastrophe (to say nothing of the simultaneous mass extinction) does not depend on Australia.

Friday 17 May 2019

Getting all Tied Up (2)

This series considers Paul Mason’s “Risks are ‘a Thing’… and so is the Death of Capitalism”, a critique of MMT.

The previous post discussed Mason’s political doubts about tying the Green New Deal to MMT. Although that is evidently an urgent concern, by itself it has little theoretical implications for Marxists. The focus of this and the next posts are the two subheadings “What does MMT say?”, “What’s wrong with MMT?”, where Mason expresses his views on what MMT is.

Tuesday 14 May 2019

Dorman è Mobile, Qual Piuma al Vento.

You've got to love petty bourgeois intellectuals.

Peter Dorman on May 10

In a Marxian view of the world, the class structure of a given society generates a set of objective interests. Classes are constituted in part through their shared interests, and the ideological/purposive aspect pertains to becoming a class for itself and not just in itself. The role of ideas is to transform objective into perceived and then mobilizing interests.
That’s a rather deterministic conception of politics, to put it mildly. (...).
Marx’ theory of class interest is too schematic and incomplete even on its own terms.

Saturday 11 May 2019

Living Beyond the Planet’s Means.

Or killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.


This is as much an attempt to explain the predicament humanity is facing right now to economists and politicians and journalists -- fixated as they are on Government budgets -- as it is to the wider public.

Thursday 9 May 2019

Getting all Tied Up.

(right-click to open a larger image in a separate tab)

The big and tiresome MMT versus everybody else punch-up seems to be abating. Finally. Readers may guess the whole thing has left me unimpressed.

But my expectations about the part of the debate involving mainstream economists were low to begin with, so their bit in the debate didn’t surprise me. What surprised me, in the worst possible way, was how awful the MMT/Marxists debate was.

Commenting recently on that, Prof. Bill Mitchell, one of MMT founders, writes that Marxists are getting all tied up on MMT.

As both a Marxist and a sort of MMT sympathiser, I reached the conclusion he is right, unfortunately. But there’s more to that.

Tuesday 7 May 2019

This is the Situation.

Those more circumspect may dislike what they are about to read. However, I don’t think it inaccurate to conclude that our planet is dying, capitalism is killing it and we have little time to do something to avoid that.


Monday 6 May 2019

Can You Trust These People?

Can you trust fanatical free-marketeer ideologues from the Institute of Public Affairs Liberal politicians?


What would account for that miraculous change of heart?

Friday 3 May 2019

Bits and Pieces: Aussie Elections.


A perennial whinge of liberal/Leftish middle-class intellectuals, at least in rich English-speaking countries, is the torpitude and turpitude of their local “(white) working class”. Because of its innate intellectual and moral weakness, the “(white) working class” must of necessity subordinate itself to a higher authority. Luckily, that authority is precisely the one those esteemed intellectuals are selflessly willing to provide.

Wednesday 1 May 2019

How Much is your Child’s Life Worth to You?

A few days ago Christian Stöcker (Der Spiegel Online, April 26) proposed his readers a thought experiment. Before casting their votes in the next elections, Australian readers would do well to think about it:
Imagine this: You and your partner have a child of primary-school age with a rare hereditary disease. By the time they’re 18, they will begin to experience increasingly severe pain and other unpleasant side effects. Their life expectancy will be severely reduced.