Promoting mass purchasing power

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Tue Sep 22 12:44:39 PDT 1998


This is from a few days ago, but I hope you don't mind taking it up again.

I don't think it is on Louis and us Marxists to come up with ways to get the working class moving more than it is on "Keynesians".

With due respect to Michael, what are your answers to your own questions ? What does Keynesian analysis add to the questions of organizing the working class ? Do Keynesians have a different plan FOR REVOLUTION ?

In other words, Keynesians do not win this dispute with Marxists by saying the working class movement is not going right now, we don't see revolution, so it's ok for us to just keep discussing reforms of capitalism. The low ebb of Marxists organizing actual workers movements does not redound to the credit of Keynesians in this dispute, because, as far as I know, Keynesians are not organizing and haven't organized workers for revolution. They don't propose revolution as a solution to capitalism.

In this argument, are the Left Keynesians for revolution or not ? They have to answer that question first. If they say , no, then Louis Pro and us Marxists rest our case. Keynesianism has no revolutionary wing. If they answer yes, they are for rev, then they have as much obligation as Marxists for the lack of what is to be done being done right now. Furthermore, what are you proposing as better than Louis' "rhetoric" ?

Charles Brown


Workers of the West , it's our turn.

>>> Michael Cohen <mike at> 09/18 7:18 PM >>>
Louis Proyect wrote:

> Once again Chris Burford, while invoking Marxism, proposes Keynsian
> solutions. The "progressive" solution is not to increase the purchasing
> power of the masses, but to expropriate the capitalist class. Chris Buford
> thinks that "generous unemployment benefits" are some kind of answer.
> Speaking for myself, I received the most generous unemployment benefits
> that any wage worker could receive after I lost a consulting position with
> Kidder-Peabody, a gang of thieves on Wall Street. I had to borrow $5000
> from my retirement funds to pay my rent. No, the answer is to lay off the
> ruling class, not plead for higher unemployment benefits for the people who
> create the wealth of society.

Louis, the rhetoric is terrific but you got much of it from the horses mouth.Now whats the plan. I myself think that the current world would be a better place if the working classes in Indonesia, Russia, and South Korea siezed control of closed down factories and started producing for their own benefit. This also would make Burford's economy remedies more likely. Now how do you plan to accomplish this now? What are the most hard hit workers doing? Can the West provide any support Whatsoever? Is there any simple way to aid their strike efforts. Is any of the proletariat which is the bulk of the citizens in Russia able to take control of the Russian Factories.

Is the layoff rate in Japan sufficiently high (I doubt it) that such moves would be possible there? "Workers of the World Unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains" sounds terriffic to me. As a slogan this is terrific, now how do you propose turning the gravy into meat and potatoes.


-- Michael Cohen mike at Associate Professor, Center for Adaptive Systems Work: 677 Beacon, Street, Rm313 Boston, Mass 02115 Home: 25 Stearns Rd, #3 Brookline, Mass 02146 Tel-Work: 617-353-9484 Tel-Home:617-734-8828 Tel-FAX:617-353-7755

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