Saturday, 31 March 2018

Theories of Surplus Value, Part II, Chapter 15 - Part 3

Ricardo, however, proceeds as though the entire capital is laid out as variable-capital. This causes problems throughout Ricardo's work, because, for example, in looking at an accumulation of capital, he only considers what has to be advanced as wages

To this extent, therefore, he considers surplus-value and not profit, hence it is possible to speak of his theory of surplus-value. On the other hand, however, he thinks that he is dealing with profit as such, and in fact views which are based on the assumption of profit and not of surplus-value, constantly creep in. Where he correctly sets forth the laws of surplus-value, he distorts them by immediately expressing them as laws of profit. On the other hand, he seeks to present the laws of profit directly, without the intermediate links, as laws of surplus-value.” (p 373-4) 

So, in dealing with Ricardo's theory of surplus value, we are dealing with his theory of profit, because he confuses the two. Ricardo does refer to constant capital, or in his terms fixed capital, as was seen previously, in relation to how he tries to reconcile the difference between exchange-values and prices, but this is set in terms of an organic composition that relates fixed capital to labour, not constant capital to labour, and throws in questions of its rate of turnover. And, it is this confusion that prevents Ricardo from understanding the difference between values and prices of production. Ricardo is then left in a fundamental contradiction of wanting to argue that profit is proportionate to the variable capital (assuming a given rate of surplus value), whilst simultaneously arguing that there exists an average rate of profit, which can only be a rate of profit measured against the whole capital, and not just the variable capital.

So, in Chapter XXVI, Ricardo says, 

““trades where profits are in proportion to the capital, and not in proportion to the quantity of labour employed” ([David Ricardo, On the Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation, third edition,] p. 418).” (p 374) 

But, as Marx says, 

“What does his whole doctrine of average profit (on which his theory of rent depends) mean, but that profits are “in proportion to the capital, and not in proportion to the quantity of labour employed”?” (p 374) 

The rate of profit is the profit measured against the capital, not the labour employed. And Ricardo does recognise this, and argues that an average rate of profit arises precisely because capital moves into those spheres where that rate of profit is higher, and out of those spheres where that rate of profit is lower. As Marx showed in Capital III, Ricardo, as with other economists had no idea what the actual objective basis of this average rate of profit was. They could understand that it arises from this competition, but they had no basis for determining why this average was 20% rather than 2% or 200%. Only by starting with an understanding of the objective basis of surplus value, as the difference between the value of labour-power and the value created by labour, can this rate of profit be objectively determined. 

Smith sought to explain the source of surplus value, and its objective basis, but Ricardo simply takes the existence of surplus value for granted. There is no rational basis for Ricardo's statement about profits being in proportion to capital in some trades, because an average rate of profit dictates that profits must be proportional to capital in all spheres. If they were not, then, as Ricardo himself says, elsewhere, capital would simply move away from where the rate of profit was low, and towards where it was high. 

“With a given rate of surplus-value, the amount of surplus-value for a particular capital must always depend, not on the absolute size of the capital, but on the quantity of labour employed. On the other hand, if the average rate of profit is given, the amount of profit must always depend on the size of the capital employed and not on the quantity of labour employed.” (p 374-5) 

Ricardo refers to the carrying trade, and trades where expensive machinery is used, but, Marx says, these are also trades where a great deal of capital in total is used, and the two things go together. It is the fact that a large mass of capital, in total, in these trades, must be advanced that determines the large mass of profit. In other words, it is simply a reflection of the fact that, given an average rate of profit, large capitals will produce a greater mass of profit than small capitals. 

“This, however, by no means distinguishes the trades in which large capitals and much constant capital are employed (the two always go together) from those in which small capitals are employed, but is merely an application of the theory that equal capitals yield equal profits, a larger capital therefore yields more profit than a smaller capital. This has nothing to do with the “quantity of labour employed”. But whether the rate of profit in general is great or small, depends indeed on the total quantity of labour employed by the capital of the whole class of capitalists and on the proportion of unpaid labour; and, lastly, on the ratio of the capital spent on labour and the capital that is merely reproduced as a condition of production.” (p 375) 

In other words, the mass of surplus value produced depends on the mass of labour employed (v), and on the rate of surplus value s', or s/v, whilst the rate of profit then depends upon the mass of surplus value relative to the total capital c + v, or, in the case of the annual rate of profit, the surplus value relative to the advanced capital C. 

Northern Soul Classics - Ever Again - Gene Woodbury

Friday, 30 March 2018

Friday Night Disco - Groovin' With Mr. Bloe - Mr. Bloe

Tories and Anti-Semitism

The Tories have called a general parliamentary debate on anti-Semitism, for 17th April. Great! It means that in the next 17 days we can expose the fact that the real problem with anti-Semitism, and racism in general, resides within the Tory Party, and other parts of the ruling class, not in the Labour Party. It means that the half million members of the Labour Party, can now use the next 17 days to trawl through all of the social media activity, and other comments from Tory MP's, Councillors, and party members, to expose the extent of racism, xenophobia and bigotry within the Tory Party and ruling class. It means we can expose the hypocrisy not only of the Tories themselves, but also of the Tory media, and all those within the right-wing of the Labour Party, and within the right-wing misleadership of the Jewish community that have cyncially made common cause with them for no other purpose than to make a vicious attack on Jeremy Corbyn. 

As with many countries across Europe, anti-Semitism in Britain goes back centuries, and long before any other form of racism or xenophobia, it became a central element of the ideology of the British ruling class. The Tories as the party that reflects the ideas of the ruling class of previous ages, of the landed aristocracy, are the bearers of those bigotries of bygone ages into the current world. The Tories would undoubtedly point to the example of Disraeli as evidence against such anti-Semitism, but the truth is, of course, that Disraeli's family had discarded Judaism, and converted to Christianity, when Disraeli was 12. Had Disraeli's family not converted to Christianity it is impossible that he would have become Prime Minister, because until 1858, MPs were required to take the oath of allegiance "on the true faith of a Christian", necessitating at least nominal conversion. 

By the end of the 19th century, increased Jewish immigration to Britain led to rising anti-immigrant feelings, and anti-Semitism, and as the party of nationalism, and protectionism, the Tories were the normal vehicle for it to be carried forward. As I pointed out in posts recently, it was in response to this growing immigration of Jews that the British Brothers League was established as a right-wing paramilitary force, attached to right-wing, anti-Semitic Tory MP's, such as MP Major Evans-Gordon, and Howard Vincent MP. 

In the 1920's, the rise of Mussolini in Italy was warmly welcomed by the British ruling class and its representatives in the Tory Party and Tory media. Its reflected in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”.

As I set out recently, Tory press barons like Lord Rothermere ran front page stories hailing the coming to power of the blackshirts, and that support ran over to Mussolini's imitators in Britain, like Oswald Mosley. And, the same enthusiasm for fascists carried over to Hitler when he took power in Germany. The racist and anti-Semitic ideas of these fascists was of no concern to the Tories and Tory press barons of the time, because they not only were they more concerned with the ability of the fascists to beat down the communists, socialists and trades unionists, as they are today, but the anti-Semitic and xenophobic ideas of the fascists accorded perfectly well with the idea of the British ruling class itself, and of its Tory representatives. Churchill himself was a well known anti-Semite, and racist bigot. That history has, like a lot of history, been re-written in recent times, but back in the 1960's, I remember having to summarise a Readers Digest article about Churchill's anti-Semitic views. Franklin Roosevelt considered him a gin soaked colonialist, and Churchill's rancid colonialism chimed perfectly well with his xenophobic, and anti-Semitic views. 

Churchill as an MP, arguing for further British expansionism, wrote that, 

"the Aryan stock is bound to triumph". 

When 14,000 black Africans died in British concentration camps in South Africa during the Boer War, he wrote only 

“of his "irritation that Kaffirs should be allowed to fire on white men" . 

Churchill sent the army to machine gun striking miners in Tonypandy in Wales, and sent the Black and Tan thugs to attack Irish men, women and children. When the Kurds rebelled against British domination he wrote, 

"I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes...[It] would spread a lively terror." 

I'm sure that Vladimir Putin, Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein would have been great admirers of Churchill the strong and stable Tory Leader!  No wonder today, Liam Fox can speak of the Tories shared values with the murderous dictator Duterte.

Churchill argued that a couple of hundred of Gandhi's supporters should be stood against a wall and machine gunned to send out a message. And his solution to Gandhi was, that he 

"ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back." 

The economist Amartya Sen has shown that it was British policy that led to a terrible famine in India in 1943, which led to 3 million Bengalis starving to death. British officials begged Churchill to send food supplies to the area, but reminiscent of Tory policy in Ireland during the potato famine, Churchill refused. He said, 

“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion” 

He complained that it was their own fault for "breeding like rabbits", and also said the plague was "merrily" culling the population. 

When dying desperate people dragged themselves into the cities, Churchill responded with jeers. This hero of the Tory Party was a truly vile man, fitting of the party who's hero and representative he is. 

But, Churchill was only emblematic of the Tory Party, and of the British Establishment, including its Royal Family, whose own Nazi sympathies were well known. Had Edward VIII not been a member of the Royal Family, he would have been shot as a traitor, for the role he played in handing over secrets to the Nazis about British troop movements in France, and allied plans for the defence of Belgium. Even after that, and when he was moved to the Bahamas and made Governor, he continued to speak out in support of Nazism. His own racist ideology was manifest in his attitude to all non-whites, and to the Bahamans. He said of the Editor of the Nassau Daily News, Étienne Dupuch, 

“It must be remembered that Dupuch is more than half Negro, and due to the peculiar mentality of this Race, they seem unable to rise to prominence without losing their equilibrium." 

When civil unrest broke out over low wages in Nassau in 1942, he blamed the trouble on "mischief makers – communists" and "men of Central European Jewish descent, who had secured jobs as a pretext for obtaining a deferment of draft". 

Churchill didn't oppose Hitler because he was a Nazi or racist; he opposed German imperialism not Nazism; he opposed the attempt of German imperialism to supplant British imperialism. Churchill did nothing to oppose Hitler and Mussolini supporting Franco, and did nothing to oppose the atrocities against Jews being undertaken throughout the 1930's. Why would he, they were no different to the atrocities he himself had supported. 

Typical of the British aristocracy's love affair with fascism is the Mitford Sisters. With Diana Mitford marrying Oswald Mosley, whilst Unity was part of the inner circle at Hitler's court. It does not take a great deal of research to uncover the family and social connections of this brood of fascists going back over a century, into today's parasitic establishment figures, and their more than extensive representation in today's Tory Party hierarchy. 

So, it should be no surprise that when David Cameron, and his Eton chums too back control of the Tory Party, one of their first acts was to ditch the Tory Party's previous alliance with centre-right parties in the European Parliament, and to throw their lot in with the various rag-bag of European neo-fascists, bigots, racists and anti-Semites. Surprisingly, however, as Jewish Voice for Labour and other left-wing Jewish groups have pointed out, the right-wing Tory representatives of the British Board of Jewish Deputies, and the Jewish leadership Council, have had little or nothing whatsoever to say about these overt links between the Tory Party, and outright fascists and anti-Semites! Instead the right-wing and Tory misleaders of those organisations have preferred to attack Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong fighter against oppression and bigotry. 

Nor is their anything new in that either.  Some of the founders of the state of Israel themselves declared, themselves in favour of establishing a state based upon nationalist and totalitarian principles.  As Wikipedia outlines,

"Lehi split from the Irgun militant group in 1940 in order to continue fighting the British during World War II. Lehi initially sought an alliance with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, offering to fight alongside them against the British in return for the transfer of all Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe to Palestine.   Believing that Nazi Germany was a lesser enemy of the Jews than Britain, Lehi twice attempted to form an alliance with the Nazis.  During World War II, it declared that it would establish a Jewish state based upon "nationalist and totalitarian principles"

Unite have produced a useful dossier on some of the more recent instances of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racism by Tories

If we go a bit further back we can examine the role of Thatcher in her support for the fascist butcher Pinochet who came to power via a brutal coup in Chile leading to Blair's labelling of the Tory Party as the Party of Pinochet, in 1999. 

Already, in the current local elections, the Tories found that they simply cannot help themselves when it comes to putting out official racist literature, because it is ingrained in their DNA. Boris Johnson, fresh from his alliance with the racists of UKIP, during the EU Referendum campaign, and its ridiculous racist claims that Britain was about to be overrun by millions of Turks, occupied pride of place in Romford, as the Tories opened their campaign to “Keep Havering Safe”, from the threat of thousands of Muslims and other “undesirable” elements invading the area, as a result of new housing development proposed by Labour councillors. 

“The campaign went on to distribute leaflets claiming that a Labour victory would result in the borough becoming increasingly like an inner-city area with a “massive population” rise and a “crime wave” arriving from central London.” 

Meanwhile, the Tories friends in Leave.EU have argued that anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is down to Labour being afraid of losing 3 million Muslim votes

It spoke of “Britain's exploding Muslim population” the choice of description no doubt not accidental. The tweet has been defended by Leave.EU, and its propagandists such as Raheem Kassam, a former Ukip leadership candidate and adviser to Nigel Farage, suggesting the message was “flushing a lot of pseudo conservatives out” and claimed critics were “chuntering their disgust while failing to acknowledge core demographic facts”. Kassan has also been associated with Breitbart News, the right-wing media outfit once headed by Steve Bannon, who also headed up Cambridge Analytica, with its own connections to Harris Media, used to run the campaign in Kenya against Odinga, and also the PR company of choice for Trump, Netanyahu and other right-wing Bonapartists. 

The racist campaign being run by the Tories for the local elections is typical of the racism and xenophobia that is ingrained in their DNA, and that of sections of the old British ruling class.  It is what they resort to instinctively when they are on the ropes, as was shown by the campaign run for London Mayor by Zak Goldsmith.

The Tories have done us a great favour in scheduling this parliamentary debate. Now let us make sure that we repay them adequately, by giving them both barrels of the truth about the cess-pit of a party they swim in. 

Theories of Surplus Value, Part II, Chapter 15 - Part 2

In this chapter and the next, Marx lays the groundwork, in analysing Ricardo's theory of surplus value and profit, for his dismantling of the catastrophist/Ricardian/Mathusian theories of falling profits, and crisis, in Chapter 17

“Nowhere does Ricardo consider surplus-value separately and independently from its particular forms—profit (interest) and rent. His observations on the organic composition of capital, which is of such decisive importance, are therefore confined to those differences in the organic composition which he took over from Adam Smith (actually from the Physiocrats), namely, those arising from the process of circulation (fixed and circulating capital). Nowhere does he touch on or perceive the differences in the organic composition within the actual process of production. Hence his confusion of value with cost-price, his wrong theory of rent, his erroneous laws relating to the causes of the rise and fall in the rate of profit, etc.” (p 373) 

Marx's reference to the process of circulation here, in relation to fixed and circulating capital, might seem a bit odd, because, as he explained in Capital II, the terms “fixed” and “circulating” capital only applies to productive-capital. However, in that explanation, Marx also showed how Smith not only confuses the category of constant capital with fixed capital, but also confuses circulating capital with capital in circulation, i.e. commodity-capital, and money-capital. Ricardo inherits this confusion from Smith. 

As Marx says, 

“Profit and surplus-value are only identical when the capital advanced is identical with the capital laid out directly in wages. (Rent is not taken into account here since the surplus-value is, in the first place, entirely appropriated by the capitalist, [irrespective of] what portion he has subsequently to hand over to his co-partners. Furthermore, Ricardo himself presents rent as an item which is separated, detached from profit.) In his observations on profit and wages, Ricardo also abstracts from the constant part of capital, which is not laid out in wages. He treats the matter as though the entire capital were laid out directly in wages.” (p 373) 

But, no production involves only labour. An actor performs in a theatre, or on film. Even a street performer plays an instrument. The closest Adam Smith came to production without constant capital was Scottish pebble collectors, but Marx points out that even they used baskets to hold the pebbles. Surplus value, and the rate of surplus value relates to only the variable-capital, whereas profit, and the rate of profit relates to the total capital, constant and variable. Moreover, when talking of profit, here, Marx says, the question of rent, and the same applies to interest, does not arise, because the profit, and rate of profit here relates to the profit realised by the capitalist, prior to any payment of rent or interest they might have to subsequently have to deduct from it. 

Marx also makes this clear in Capital III, in setting out his Law of the Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall, prior to discussing rent and interest. This shows why the calculation of the rate of profit, given by Tony Northfield, here, is particularly bizarre. Tony calculates the rate of profit, there, not on the basis of the actual productive-capital, but only on the basis of the value of the productive-capital less the value of any money-capital it has borrowed! 

Tony says, 

“...the rate of profit will be affected by how much of the capital advanced is from the company’s owners and how much is borrowed from banks or other money capitalists providing it with extra investment funds. If we assume a given, annual rate of profit of 10% for the company, then the return on its total investment will also be 10%. But if it has borrowed half its investment funds from banks at a rate of just 5%, or issued bonds with a yield of 5%, then the rate of profit on the funds that the company’s owners have advanced will be higher. For example, for 200 invested at 10%, the annual return is 20. But if the company’s owners have invested only 100 of their own money plus an extra 100 they have borrowed, the company then gets as its profit the 20 total minus the 5 it needs to pay on its borrowings, etc. The result is that its rate of return will be higher: 15 (20 – 5) over the 100 invested, or 15%.” 

But, as I pointed out to Tony in comments to his blog, there is absolutely no basis in any of Marx's writings for calculating the rate of profit in this way. Tony's argument is particularly bizarre, for several reasons, but, in the case of the dominant capitals, i.e. of joint stock companies, a large part of the capital, is borrowed. It is money that shareholders have loaned to the company. So, if the calculation proceeded on Tony's basis, in a situation where the money-capital loaned to the company, by shareholders, is equal to the value of the advanced productive-capital, the capital advanced by the company itself would equal zero, so that whatever profit it made, would represent a rate of profit of infinity!!! As Marx also makes clear in discussing fictitious capital, money-capital, cannot independently self-expand. It's only the productive-capital that is capable of self expansion, and its only against the productive-capital advanced that the measurement of any such self-expansion can be meaningfully measured. In Theories of Surplus Value, Chapter 16, as we will see later, Marx writes, making this clear, 

"{Incidentally, when speaking of the law of the falling rate of profit in the course of the development of capitalist production, we mean by profit, the total sum of surplus-value which is seized in the first place by the industrial capitalist, [irrespective of] how he may have to share this later with the money-lending capitalist (in the form of interest) and the landlord (in the form of rent). Thus here the rate of profit is equal to surplus-value divided by the capital outlay."

And, in Capital III, Chapter 13, Marx says, 

“We intentionally present this law before going on to the division of profit into different independent categories. The fact that this analysis is made independently of the division of profit into different parts, which fall to the share of different categories of people, shows from the outset that this law is, in its entirety, independent of this division, and just as independent of the mutual relations of the resultant categories of profit. The profit to which we are here referring is but another name for surplus-value itself, which is presented only in its relation to total capital rather than to variable capital, from which it arises. The drop in the rate of profit, therefore, expresses the falling relation of surplus-value to advanced total capital, and is for this reason independent of any division whatsoever of this surplus-value among the various categories.” 

Marx makes this clear again here, in relation to Ricardo's confusion. 

“Rent is not taken into account here since the surplus-value is, in the first place, entirely appropriated by the capitalist, [irrespective of] what portion he has subsequently to hand over to his co-partners. Furthermore, Ricardo himself presents rent as an item which is separated, detached from profit.” (p 373)

Moreover, unless the rate of profit is calculated on this basis, i.e. against the value of the productive-capital advanced, and only then the deductions for rent, interest and taxes made, does Marx's further analysis of the rate of rent, rate of interest, and rate of profit of enterprise make any sense. 

Thursday, 29 March 2018

BBC Calls On Corbyn to Denounce Jews!

The BBC, which has been at the forefront of the Tory media campaign against Jeremy Corbyn itself today called on Corbyn to denounce Jews!!!!

In an interview with a Labour spokesperson, that ranged from Brexit to the resignation of Christine Shawcroft, the BBC's Assistant Political Editor, Norman Smith asked, "shouldn't Jeremy Corbyn denounce those who organised the counter-demonstration in Parliament Square on Monday?"

But, the organisers of that counter-demonstration were Jews, from the Jewish Voice for Labour!

So, in demanding that Corbyn condemn Jews is Norman Smith and the BBC being openly anti-Semitic?  I have no reason to believe so.  But, is Smith and the BBC being implicitly anti-Semitic?  Is it the case that Smith and the BBC only see some Jews, but are blind to the existence and concerns of other Jews.  In other words, do they have no trouble in seeing Jews who happen to fill their own view of what Jews should be like, and who support their own world view, and its critical attitude to Corbyn, but are blind to the existence of that large mass of Jews, who do not conform to that view, who constitute now possibly a larger proportion of Jewish Labour activists than does those who oppose Corbyn.

In that case, that would mean that the BBC is guilty of being implicitly anti-Semitic by subordinating the interests of Jews to their own short-term political ambitions of undermining and criticising Corbyn.  It would mean simply using Jews as pawns in a political game, of being mere cannon fodder to be thrown on to the political battlefield as a means of attacking Corbyn.  And, in fact, in the last week the BBC has been one of the main purveyors of anti-Semitic images.  Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for the fact that six years ago, he viewed an image briefly on a two-inch mobile phone screen.  If Corbyn is anything like me, he has difficulty seeing anything properly on a mobile phone, which is why I don't bother with them.  Corbyn is also busier than me, so the fact that he made, what now turns out to have been a careless comment, which he thought was in defence of free speech, but turned out to be a defence of an offensive anti-Semitic mural, I can well understand, as can probably most of us of a similar age.  

The question here is, this was six years ago, and no one would even have been aware of this image had someone out to get Corbyn, not trawled through his social media comments for the last decade or so, trying to find something they could use against him, no matter how tenuous.  But, when the BBC and other sections of the Tory media have presented this story, rather than it being presented on a 2 inch mobile phone screen, it is now plastered across newspaper front pages, and across 50 inch TV screens beamed directly into people's living rooms.

And, purveyed in this panoramic wide screen vision, they then dishonestly ask, why can't you immediately see that this image is anti-Semitic?  But, this is an image that no one would even have been aware of, and indeed no one has been aware of for the last six years!!!  The people responsible for it being purveyed, and disseminated, in wide screen, technicolour, hour after hour, day after day for the last week, on TV screens, beamed into everyone's homes, are the Tory media - of which the Biased Broadcasting Company is one of the worst offenders.  And, in fact, typical of spineless Tory media, and typical of their hatred of Corbyn, their repeated use of this image day after day, stands in stark contrast to their failure several years ago, to display the Danish cartoons, that provoked hostility from Muslims.

On the BBC's Daily Politics on Wednesday, Andrew Neil, said sheepishly that they had considered whether they should show the mural, because of its anti-Semitic nature, but had decided to do so, in order that viewers should know exactly what was being discussed.  Well, given that the image had been displayed every hour, every day for the last week, it was a bit late to be making that consideration, but the fact that it has been so widely dispersed by the BBC and other Tory media over the last week, means that its unlikely that viewers of the Daily Politics were not already well acquainted with the image, and so his justification for showing it yet again, in full cinemascope hardly seems to be the real reason for them doing so.

The real anti-Semitism here is not one that can be laid at Corbyn's door, but lies at the door of those who spent six years trying to uncover something in Corbyn's history that could be thrown at him, and who found that tenuous as it was, this was the best they could come up with.  That is the real anti-Semitism, because it subordinates the interests of Jews to their own short-term, sectarian interest in attacking Corbyn, by whatever means they can.  In the process, it demonstrates the real anti-Semitism, because it means that an image that few people would even have been aware of six years ago, and even fewer aware of in the six years that have passed since then, has been spread far and wide by the Tory media.

Those that took the time to dig through the last decade of Corbyn's social media postings etc., have been able to do that, because they clearly have the resources to do so, which again poses the question of who is really behind this campaign to expose "the real Jeremy Corbyn", as with the Harris Media/Cambridge Analytica campaign in Kenya against Raila Odinga.  If we were to look over a similar period at the social media activity of various members of the Tory Party, I am sure that we would find a wealth of material that could be used against them.  But, few socialists bother to be a part of Tory and other right-wing social media forums, where they might become aware of such comments.  By contrast, its not just Tories and the far right seeking to undermine Corbyn, it is also the right of the Labour Party.

In part, Corbyn and the party leadership have invited the current situation, because they have continually back-pedalled in the face of attacks by the Tories, and the right-wing of the party, rather than taking them on.  The right are seeking to cow Corbyn, and the vast majority of the party membership, to dissuade them from deselecting the right-wing Councillors and MP's, who now so distinctly fail to reflect the party and its voters in the country.  Those self-serving MP's and Councillors would clearly prefer to see Labour do badly in the upcoming elections, as a means of undermining Corbyn than see Labour do well, and Corbyn's position be further consolidated.  They have used the same tactics in every year since Corbyn was elected Leader.  The Labour right are being facilitated by the Tories and the Tory media in that campaign.  Its time for Corbyn and the party leadership themselves to say EnoughisEnough, and now to begin to deselect all of these self-serving politicians, who put their own cushy jobs above the interest of the Party and of the  working-class whose interests it was set up to serve.  Its time for Corbyn and the leadership to put an end to the witchhunt of party members, and to begin to deal with the real culprits of bringing the party into disrepute.

Theories of Surplus Value, Part II, Chapter 15 - Part 1

Ricardo’s Theory of Surplus-Value

A. The Connection Between Ricardo’s Conception of Surplus-Value and His Views on Profit and Rent

1. Ricardo’s Confusion of the Laws of Surplus-Value with the Laws of Profit 

Those who argue that the cause of crises is the law of falling profits actually enunciate a Ricardian or Malthusian, rather than Marxian, version of that law. Even then, they get the arrow of causation the wrong way around.

So, for example, in a recent post, Michael Roberts wrote,

"The most intense periods of struggle appear to be when the labour movement is reasonably strong in incomes and organisation but when the profitability of capital has started to fall, according to Marx’s law of profitability. Then the battle over the share of the surplus and wages rises. Historically, in the UK that was from 1910 just before and just after WW1; and in the 1970s."

But, this fall in the rate and mass of surplus value, due to rising wages creating a squeeze on profits has nothing to do with Marx's Law of the Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall!  It is exactly what Marx was arguing against, as an explanation of that long-term tendency, as it was presented by Smith, Ricardo and Malthus.  It simply demonstrates the way those that have tied their banner to the mast of the Law of Falling Profits, as an explanation for crises, are led to abandon Marx's theory, and to grasp for any instance of a falling rate of profit, as supporting evidence for their claim, even where such instances are caused by factors that not only have nothing to do with Marx's Law, but are attributable to the diametrically opposed conditions, he was describing.

As Marx sets out, in Capital III, Chapter 15, and earlier in Chapter 6, a crisis of overproduction arises when capital has expanded to such an extent, relative to the available labour supply, that any further expansion does not result in any increase in the mass of surplus value, and may result in a reduction in the mass of surplus value. The reason for this is that any further expansion causes wages to rise, and the rate of surplus value to fall. 

“There would be absolute over-production of capital as soon as additional capital for purposes of capitalist production = 0. The purpose of capitalist production, however, is self-expansion of capital, i.e., appropriation of surplus-labour, production of surplus-value, of profit. As soon as capital would, therefore, have grown in such a ratio to the labouring population that neither the absolute working-time supplied by this population, nor the relative surplus working-time, could be expanded any further (this last would not be feasible at any rate in the case when the demand for labour were so strong that there were a tendency for wages to rise); at a point, therefore, when the increased capital produced just as much, or even less, surplus-value than it did before its increase, there would be absolute over-production of capital; i.e., the increased capital C + ΔC would produce no more, or even less, profit than capital C before its expansion by ΔC. In both cases there would be a steep and sudden fall in the general rate of profit, but this time due to a change in the composition of capital not caused by the development of the productive forces, but rather by a rise in the money-value of the variable capital (because of increased wages) and the corresponding reduction in the proportion of surplus-labour to necessary labour.” 

(Capital Volume III, Chapter 15) 

In other words, this is the Smithian law of falling profits caused by capital accumulating faster than the supply of exploitable labour, causing the demand for labour-power to rise, wages to rise, and the rate and mass of surplus value to fall. As Marx points out at the start of that chapter, 

“Given the necessary means of production, i.e. , a sufficient accumulation of capital, the creation of surplus-value is only limited by the labouring population if the rate of surplus-value, i.e., the intensity of exploitation, is given; and no other limit but the intensity of exploitation if the labouring population is given.” 

The crisis of overproduction is then manifested in a profits squeeze, which results from a fall in the rate of surplus value, caused by rising wages. This is the very opposite of the conditions Marx describes as being fundamental to his law of the falling rate of profit, which is based upon rising productivity, a rising rate of surplus value, and rising mass of profits. In other words, the fall in the mass of surplus value here is a consequence of the overproduction, not vice versa.

The mass of surplus value can rise for one of two reasons, as Marx describes above. Either the mass of labour exploited rises, or the same mass of labour is exploited at a higher rate of exploitation. The mass of labour exploited can rise due to natural increases in the working population. So, 1 million workers working a 10 hour day, produce 10 million hours of new value. If the rate of surplus value is 100%, that means half of this 10 million hours constitutes surplus value. If the working population rises to 2 million, then 20 million hours of new value are created, and 10 million hours of surplus value are produced, an increase of 100%. But, even if the working population remains constant the mass of labour exploited, and mass of surplus value produced can still increase. That can arise because the working-day is extended. If the 1 million workers work a 16 hour day, 16 million hours of new value is created. Even with the same rate of surplus value, the mass of surplus value thereby rises to 8 million hours, an increase of 60%. This is what Marx refers to in the quote from Chapter 15 above. In other words, as capital finds that the growth in the actual working population no longer suffices to provide the additional labour-power it requires, it looks to increase the mass of labour exploited by other means. It brings women and children into the workforce, and it extends the length of the working-day, thereby increasing the amount of absolute surplus value it can obtain. 

But, a point is then reached, whereby having brought women and children, and immigrants into the workforce – as happened, for example, in the post-war boom period, after WWII – so as to increase the mass of labour, having then lengthened the working-day (even paying higher wages for overtime to do so), capital still runs up against this objective barrier. As each firm tries to recruit more labour, it has to compete with other firms to do so, and the competition between them pushes wages higher, and pushes the rate of surplus value lower. The other means of increasing the mass of surplus value, is to increase the rate of surplus value, which means to reduce the level of wages, leaving a bigger portion of the working-day as surplus value, but in conditions where the shortage of labour-power is pushing wages higher, that is impossible. As Marx says, above, 

“As soon as capital would, therefore, have grown in such a ratio to the labouring population that neither the absolute working-time supplied by this population, nor the relative surplus working-time, could be expanded any further (this last would not be feasible at any rate in the case when the demand for labour were so strong that there were a tendency for wages to rise)” 

The rate of profit here falls, because the mass of surplus value itself falls, or, at least, does not rise, even as the capital advanced rises. So, the rate of profit falls. The profit is squeezed as a result of rising wages, and possibly other costs, as set out in Capital III, Chapter 6, or by a rising proportion of rent or interest

This latter is, in fact, the explanation for the falling rate of profit put forward by Ricardo, Malthus and others, in contrast to Smith. The work of Glyn and Sutcliffe (British Capitalism: Workers and the Profits Squeeze), showed how this process unfolded during the 1960's and 1970's. John King and Philip Regan, in their 1976 book “Relative Income Shares”, also support the conclusions. They also say, 

“Their conclusions are supported by a careful reworking of the data by Burgess & Webb.” 

(See: The Profits of British Industry, Lloyds Bank Review (April 1974)) 

They go on to cite further confirmation in the work of Thirlwall, Heidensohn, and Zygmant, “according to whom “a steady rise of the wage income ratio since 1950 appears to accelerate in the 1960’s.”

(See Thirlwall, “Changes in Industrial Composition in The UK and the US and Labour's Share of National Income 1948-69”, Bulletin of the Oxford University Institute of Economics and Statistics (Nov 1972); Heidensohn and Zygmant, “On Some Common Fallacies in Interpreting Aggregate Pay Share Figures” Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Staatswissenchaft (Apr 1974)) 

King & Regan conclude the chapter by saying, 

“Glyn and Sutcliffe suggest that the profits squeeze is an international phenomenon, although some of their evidence for other Western economies is rather weak… Convincing evidence of a recent shift to labour in the United States is provided by Thirlwall, and also by Nordhaus. For Germany, on the other hand, Heidensohn and Zygmant show that the wage income ratio has been constant, with perhaps a slight downward tendency since 1956.” (p 27) 

(See also W.D. Nordhaus, “The Falling Share of Profits”, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (1974)) 

But, Marx explains why, although such periods of profits squeeze undoubtedly occur, as a result of overproduction, this is not the explanation for the long run tendency for the rate of profit to fall. By contrast, Marx shows that, far from the mass of profit/surplus value falling, as Ricardo, Malthus et al have it, what lies behind his law of a falling rate of profit is a rising mass of profit, resulting from more capital being employed, rather than the rate of surplus value falling, in Marx's theory, the rate of surplus value rises, as a consequence of the rise in productivity that causes the rise in the organic composition of capital (c:v), which is the actual basis for the long-term fall in the rate of profit. 

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Smears and Anti-Semitism

Those waging a scurrilous campaign against Jeremy Corbyn are deliberately conflating two different things. They demand that Corbyn condemn those in the party who argue that a smear campaign is being waged as a means of undermining him; as a form of proxy war. They argue that the charge of a smear campaign is itself evidence of anti-Semitism, or a failure to take anti-Semitism, in the party, seriously. But, the charge that a smear campaign is being waged against Jeremy Corbyn, is not at all the same thing as saying that claims that forms of anti-Semitism exist within the Labour Party are untrue. There are anti-Semites in the Labour Party, as with all other parts of society, and they should be kicked out. What is untrue is that any anti-Semitism in the party is the responsibility of Jeremy Corbyn, and his supporters. The attempts to blame Corbyn and his supporters for any such anti-Semitism is what constitutes the smear! 

As I said yesterday, this form of smear campaign to present a picture of “the real Jeremy Corbyn”, is almost identical to the campaign that was conducted in Kenya by Harris Media and Cambridge Analytica against Raila Odinga . As Channel4 illustrated, in that case, what Harris Media did was to take some actual facts about events in Kenya, to admix them with made-up or exaggerated and distorted "alternative facts", and then to claim that Odinga was in some way responsible for them, even though he had nothing to do with them. That kind of disinformation and propaganda has been seen many times in the past, and, in fact, it was the kind of procedure that was used to construct the “dodgy dossier” used to convince MP's to vote for the Iraq War. It is the stock in trade of intelligence services, such as those associated with SCL, or who operate out of the secret apparatus of every state. 

Those who seek to smear Corbyn know that trying to do so directly would be likely to simply make them look foolish. So, instead they utilise the old Stalinist tactic of the amalgam. They put together a case based on some semblance of facts relating to one group of people, and then by a series of, however tenuous, links, they tie their actual target to these totally unrelated facts or actions. In this case, unable to credibly accuse Corbyn himself of anti-Semitism, they construct a case that anti-Semitism is rife within the Labour Party – which actual studies show it is not, and that it is far more prevalent in the Tory Party, and the far right – and that it has increased since Corbyn became leader, and so in some unspecified way, Corbyn is responsible for it.  But, the real intention was exposed by those on the anti-Corbyn protest outside Parliament, yesterday, who disgustingly chanted "Oh Jeremy's a racist"!

That use of the amalgam is illustrated by the arguments that have been used in recent days, whereby the #EnoughisEnough meme was predicated on the idea that Corbyn himself was either directly responsible for anti-Semitism in the party, or at least for not stamping it out. But, those making that argument are again being disingenuous, because, set aside any question of the need for due process for those charged with anti-Semitism, they know that Corbyn is not responsible for any decisions, or for the speed with which the processes inside the party are undertaken. The responsibility for the implementation of internal party procedures rests with the party's full-time bureaucracy. If they want to blame anyone for the length of time taken to implement the Chakrabarty Report, they should blame the party's former General Secretary Ian McNichol, and his staff, many of whom are Blair-rights rather than supporters of Corbyn! And, of course when it comes to the witch hunters favourite target, Ken Livingstone, it was Blair himself who pleaded with him to come back to stand for London Mayor, long after various charges of anti-Semitism had been made against him. 

In terms of the actual disciplinary hearings and proceedings, the true story is the opposite of what those trying to smear Corbyn have said. It has often been the case that charges of anti-Semitism have simply been a cover for undertaking a witch hunt against Corbyn supporters. Despite what is being claimed, dozens of party activists have already been suspended or expelled, including many Jewish activists. Again despite what is being claimed, the charges against many of those is not at all that they were guilty of anti-Semitism, but that they have simply criticised Israel or Zionism. One of the most prominent examples of that was the expulsion of Moshe Machover, which was so egregious that, in the end, the party had to reverse the decision. But, it is no coincidence that long-standing, left-wing Jewish members of the party, like Walter Wolfgang have been led to criticise the way charges of anti-Semitism have been used to witch hunt activists. Nor is it any wonder that left-wing Jewish members of the party have felt the need to set up the Jewish Voice for Labour-, as an alternative to the existing establishment organisations within the party. Rather than being socialist fighters for the interests of Jewish workers, those existing organisation act more like the foreign diplomatic corps of, and have significant overlaps of personnel with, the Israeli state, in much the same way that the old Stalinist parties saw it as their task to act as Russian nationalists rather than international socialists. 

But, again, in terms of those disciplinary hearings, the timing of them is the responsibility of the party's full-time bureaucracy, which has been dominated by the Blair-rights not by Corbyn supporters, and the hearings are the responsibility of the NEC and its Sub-Committees, not of Corbyn. Until the last few months, the NEC and certainly its sub-committees, along with the infamous Compliance Unit have been dominated by Blair-rights, not by Corbyn supporters. But, as part of a smear campaign against Corbyn all of these facts are passed over, and to the extent that the highly paid, but poorly informed journalists of the Tory media could even be bothered to find out the facts about internal party procedures, and responsibilities, they have little interest in presenting that truth honestly, as they facilitate the smear campaign to expose “The Real Jeremy Corbyn”, and pass on these lies to the general public. 

I suspect that if some real deep digging is done into those behind this smear campaign against Corbyn, some links will be found to those who also have connections to Harris Media, Cambridge Analytica and those with whom they have dealings. Certainly, the tactics and strategy have glaring similarities in all of the various cases where those organisations have been involved. Its time to open the books of all these opaque organisations, and to expose them to the sterilising effect of daylight. But, what has been seen in recent weeks only emphasises the point I made some time ago, at the time of the MP's expenses scandal, we should open the books on bourgeois democracy so that we can see transparently the links between these different groups, and where they get their money from. It should not be possible for an organisation such the British Israel Communications and Research Council to simply inform us that it is funded by “private UK philanthropy”, as it does, especially when many of its senior staff have formerly held positions within the  higher reaches of the Israeli state

But, we also need to open the books on all of the British media, to see its financial, political and other links whether to important financial and vested interests, whether domestic or foreign. Leveson illustrated the significance of that in only a limited way, but even that limitation was too much for the Tories that have closed it down. Its time now to blow the whole thing wide open, as the Cambridge Analytica scandal has made clear. 

Theories of Surplus Value, Part II, Chapter 14 - Part 24

[5. Adam Smith’s Views on the Movements of Rent and His Estimation of the Interests of the Various Social Classes]

Ricardo similarly explains the increase in the proportion of rent, on the basis of a higher price for corn grown on the more fertile land. But, for Ricardo, this higher price is not the result of social development and rising productivity, but the consequence of less fertile soil being brought into cultivation to meet rising demand. 

For Smith, the landlord also benefits from rising productivity, in manufacture, because, ““Whatever reduces the real price of the latter” [i.e., manufactured goods] “raises that of the former” [i.e., of agricultural produce]. Furthermore, with every increase of the real wealth of the society, the population increases; with the population increases the demand for agricultural produce and consequently the capital employed in agriculture; “and the rent increases with the produce”. On the other hand all circumstances which hinder the growth of general wealth, will have the opposite effect and lead to a fall in rent and hence a decrease in the real wealth of the landowners ([O.U.P., Vol. I, pp. 286-87; Garnier,] Vol. II, pp. 159-60).” (p 372)

Smith concludes that the landlords interests are in harmony with the “general interest of society”, which is an indication of Smith's integrity given that he was an ideologist of the rising bourgeoisie. And, Smith's honesty is also indicated by the fact that, although he includes the interests of the labourers in this “general interest of society”, he stresses that it is the proprietors who gain much more than the workers. And, although the workers gain the least from this improvement in society, they suffer the most from any decline of society. 

“The interests of the capitalists (manufacturers and merchants), on the other hand, are not identical with the 

“general interest of the society… ” “The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public.” [The dealers are]… an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it” ([O.U.P., Vol. I, pp. 289-90; Garnier,] Vol. II, pp. 163-65).” (p 372) 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Cambridge Analytica and the Campaign Against Corbyn

The last few days have seen yet further revelations of the role of Cambridge Analytica, and its parent company SCL, as well as of its associated arms such as AIQ based in Canada. Links between Cambridge Analytica and the Trump camp had already been revealed, with Trump's mentor, Steve Bannon, at one time being a Vice-President of the company

Channel4 News, as well as the BBC have traced the role of Cambridge Analytica also back to a role in the last Kenyan elections. Channel4 News, also illustrated the connections between Cambridge Analytica, and the US based Harris Media, which ran attack ads against the Kenyan Opposition leader Raila Odinga. Harris media is the media company used by Trump, and also by Benjamin Netanyahu.

The other links discovered during the week are those between Cambridge Analytica and Putin's Russia.. That is yet another piece in the jigsaw of connections between right-wing Tories, Brextremists, Trump, Russia, Israel, Cambridge Analytica and sections or former members of the British Secret Services. SCL even claimed on its marketing material, according to the BBC, that its bona fides could be checked with British Embassies. And, for all of their window dressing in relation to Putin's Russia, with the dismissal of Russian diplomats, the connections between leading Tories and Putin's regime, and the various oligarchs in London, continues, as with Bojo being paid a large amount of money to play tennis with people close to Putin

And, now we have the connections between Cambridge Analytica and AIQ, as a means of channelling funds from Vote Leave to BeLeave, as a means of getting around the law on election spending. But expect no quick action on any of that. The Information Commissioner could not even get into Cambridge Analytica's premises within a week, though, given the potential crimes that had been committed, why the police could not have just obtained entrance to the premises is a mystery, or perhaps not, given the establishment figures that are involved. 

The Tory and Brextremist apologists of course, claim that all of the money spent on this research and analysis, and on targeted advertising could not result in changing the way people vote. In that case, why did any of these organisations spend large amounts of money to do it? The truth is that we know that psychological profiling, and psychological techniques of shaping behaviour, by various methods of suggestion and conditioning do work. That is why there is a multi-billion dollar global advertising and marketing industry. But, if you want another example, look at the way supermarkets regularly send out vouchers for money off, to you as a named individual, if you spend say £60 with them, before a given date. How many people have found themselves conditioned to go and spend money in that way, so as to save themselves £10 on a £60 shop? 

The old techniques of advertising and marketing were based on mass media, they were a hammer to crack a nut, as they had to appeal to large sections of the population in one go, for example, in the way soap powder makers used stratified marketing to put the same powder into different boxes, aimed at different demographics, and at different price levels. Today, just as flexible specialisation has taken over from Fordist mass production, so too advertising and marketing is able to use a scalpel rather than a hammer, to forensically target individual psyche, to obtain the desired results. 

Channel4 News in the video above showed how Cambridge Analytica and its associates were using these techniques in Kenya and elsewhere for overtly political purposes. In the case of Kenya, what the film illustrates is not only that Cambridge Analytica/Harris Media were utilising these analytical and psychological techniques to target specific individuals and groups of individuals with a specific message, but that the message itself was impregnated with fake news, in other words lies and disinformation designed to blacken the name of Odinga. 

What is ironic is that even as the BBC and Channel4 ran the stories about the role of Cambridge Analytica, and its associates such as Harris Media, in smearing the name of Odinga, they were alongside those stories themselves facilitating a similar campaign of smears, innuendoes and lies against Jeremy Corbyn that has all of the same hallmarks. It would be interesting for both the BBC and Channel4, to investigate, now, for example, the links between this campaign against Corbyn, launched now just ahead of the local elections, with the Brextremists who see Corbyn's Labour Party as the main threat to Brexit going ahead, and the extent to which that campaign has been coordinated, planned and financed by any of the groups associated with Cambridge Analytica, and the various other parties with whom it has done business.  The Sun, for example, recently ran a story that it had to withdraw the following day about the savings that families would make as a result of Brexit, if Jeremy Corbyn was kept out of office, so as to enable Brexit to go ahead.

Given the links between Harris Media, Cambridge Analytica and Netanyahu, for example, it would be interesting to examine any overlap in this campaign against Corbyn, and groups in Britain linked to Netanyahu's regime in Israel, that is itself under investigation there, for corruption. An investigation needs to be undertaken of the extent to which the current witchhunt against Corbyn has been coordinated by these assorted and connected forces, a well as with opaque groups such as the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre.

Theories of Surplus Value, Part II, Chapter 14 - Part 23

The logic of Smith's position here should be that if the value of a commodity falls, but the value of wages rise, then this can only be because the other costs of production, which make up the value of production – profits and rent – fall by more than the rise in wages. However, Smith does not argue that either profit or rent falls. Smith's explanation is, 

““In consequence of better machinery, of greater dexterity, and of a more proper division and distribution of work, all of which are the natural effects of improvement, a much smaller quantity of labour becomes requisite for executing any particular piece of work; and though, in consequence of the flourishing circumstances of society, the real price of labour should rise very considerably, yet the great diminution of the quantity,” requisite for each particular article, “will generally much more than compensate the greatest rise which can happen in the price.” ([O.U.P., Vol. I, p. 280; Garnier,] Vol. II, p. 148.)” (p 370-1) 

In other words, Smith abandons his cost of production theory of value here, and explains the fall in the value of commodities, concomitant with a rise in wages, by determining value once again on the basis of the labour-time required for production. This is also important for understanding the later discussion in relation to the difference between Marx's Law of the Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall, and a fall in the rate of profit due to a profits squeeze. Marx's Law arises in conditions where productivity is rising, which causes the value of labour-power to fall,, and the rate of surplus value to rise. The rate of profit then falls, because even if the unit value of materials falls (causing a fall in the value composition of capital) the mass of material processed (the technical composition of capital) by each unit of labour, rises by a greater proportion so that the organic composition of capital, c:v, rises. 

But, the rate of profit also falls in the opposite conditions, i.e. where the profits get squeezed by rising costs, due to falling productivity, or rising wages, interest or rent. Smith, Ricardo, Malthus and others tried to explain The Law of Falling Profits on this latter basis. In Chapter 17, Marx explains why, although profits can indeed be squeezed in this way, and he also sets that out in Capital III, Chapters 6 and 15, this squeeze on profits is different to The Law of The Tendency For The Rate of Profit to Fall. 

“Thus the value of the commodities falls, because a smaller quantity of labour is required to produce them; the value moreover falls although the real price of labour rises. If here the real price of labour means the value [of labour], then the profit must fall, if the price of the commodity falls as a result of the fall in its value. If, on the other hand, it means the quantity of the means of subsistence received by the worker, then the Smithian thesis is correct even where profit is rising.” (p 371) 

As Marx points out, whenever Smith is analysing facts, he is led to drop his cost of production theory, and to revert to his labour theory of value. So, Smith writes, explaining why the price of woollen cloth was higher in the 16th century, 

““It cost a greater quantity of labour to bring the goods to market. When they were brought thither, therefore, they must have purchased, or exchanged for the price of, a greater quantity” ([O.U.P., Vol. I, p. 284; Garnier,] Vol. II, p. 156).” (p 371) 

The only mistake here, Marx says, is the use of the word “price”. Smith should have referred to value. 

Monday, 26 March 2018

Jewish Leaders Attacks On Corbyn Do No Favours For Jews

Jeremy Corbyn's parents met during the Battle of Cable Street. They were just some of the many left-wing socialists of the time, who risked their lives standing alongside the Jewish community of the area to prevent Mosley's fascists from marching. Jeremy Corbyn has been influenced by that, having dedicated his political life, for the last fifty years, to opposing racism, discrimination and oppression of all kinds. He has spent all that time putting the defence of those principles above securing for himself a cushy job, as a minister or shadow minister, as many of his contemporaries chose to do. 

Of course, at the time that Corbyn's parents were standing alongside the Jewish community at Cable Street, the equivalents of those in the Labour Party, today, who describe themselves as moderates, and who have preferred to further their political career at the expense of abandoning all pretext of principle, were nowhere to be seen. In the 1970's, when Corbyn, like me and many others on the Left, were organising to oppose the rising menace of the National Front, and its anti-Semitic, and racist poison, we were told by those same moderates that there was no need to oppose the NF, because they would just go away, if we ignored them. But, of course, they did not go away, instead they grew stronger, and to counter the rising support they obtained, the mainstream parties themselves shifted further and further on to the ground of blaming foreigners for Britain's ills, and proposing ever more draconian immigration laws, as their easy solution to that problem. It is, in fact, part of the process that allowed the ideas that have fuelled Brexit to fester within a section of the population. In the 1960's, Enoch Powell spouted those same vile racist ideas, but by the 1980's, the only reason the NF vote declined, was that Thatcher had essentially stolen their political clothes, just as today the Tories stole the clothes of UKIP. 

And, of course, in the 1930's, when Corbyn's parents were fighting to oppose the anti-Semites of Mosley's blackshirts, the leading Tories were supporting Mosley's mentors, Hitler in Germany, and Mussolini in Italy. Churchill himself was a well-known anti-Semite, whose attitude to Jews seems to have been little different to his attitude to Gandhi, and the Indians seeking independence. Churchill favoured rounding up a couple of hundred of Gandhi's supporters and lining them up against a wall before machine gunning them, so as to send a message! He'd done a similar thing by sending in the army to machine gun striking miners in Tonypandy in Wales. And, of course, that support for the fascists and anti-Semites was echoed through the British establishment, for example, in the pages of the true blue Tory press, such as the Daily Mail, which hailed Hitler's rise to power. 

And, of course, that pinnacle of the British Establishment, the Royal Family, had well known Nazi sympathies,

And that actual anti-Semitism is rife within the British Establishment today. It is an anti-Semitism not like the left anti-Semitism that derives from an hostility to the actions of the Israeli state, but a real anti-Semitism based upon a hatred of Jews themselves. The Tory media have whipped up a storm, aided and abetted by Corbyn's enemies within the Labour Party, about anti-Semitism, but the real anti-Semitism is, and has always been rooted within the bowels of the Tory Party. The first Immigration Laws introduced in Britain, the 1905 Aliens Act, was promoted by right-wing Tories, and their proto-fascist paramilitary wing the British Brothers League, which was formed in 1902, by Captain William Stanley Shaw under the slogan “England for the English”. The aim, as with later fascist organisations, was to create a paramilitary organisation. The Brothers League quickly made alliances with right-wing Tories such as the MP Major Evans-Gordon, and Howard Vincent MP. The aim of the Act was to prevent Jews escaping pogroms in Russia coming to Britain. 

In the 1970's, there was a more or less open door between the Tory Party and the National Front, with National Front members infiltrating local associations as well as taking over the Tory youth and Student organisations. Today a similar situation exists with fascists moving between their various organisations, and into UKIP as well as backwards and forwards over recent years between the Tory Party and UKIP, and now back again. 

If the leaders of the various Jewish organisations who are today protesting at Corbyn outside parliament, really wanted to protect the interests of Jewish communities, against this real anti-Semitism, they would be focussing their attention elsewhere. No one who knows Jeremy Corbyn believes that there is an anti-Semitic bone in his body. In the last year or so, no one raising the issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, made such a claim in relation to Corbyn. A look at all of his actions opposing anti-Semitism, all of the Early Day Motions he has submitted over the years in support of Jews across the globe demonstrates that.  Yet, in the last few days this hysteria has been whipped up against him. Why? 

The charges that have been levelled against him that he is repeatedly seen standing alongside anti-Semites simply do not hold up. On TV today, I heard one presenter ask why it was that it had taken until now, from 2012, for Corbyn to speak out to say that the mural at the centre of the current controversy was anti-Semitic. But, this is rather like the situation some years ago in relation to the Danish Cartoons. The cartoons had been published some months before, and had been unnoticed by anyone. It was only when some clerical-fascists later picked up on them, and began to circulate them via the Internet, that a firestorm of opposition was whipped up. The real question here should be, why has it taken six years for someone to have trawled through Jeremy Corbyn's social media comments, to find this particular comment, and then to spread it across the Internet? Surely, the real anti-Semites here, are those who dragged out a single, careless comment from six years ago, purely for the purpose of waging a political campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, and in the process gave currency to this particular anti-Semitic image that otherwise no one would have been aware of! That is real anti-Semitism, it is subordinating the interests of Jews, to the interest of waging a political war against Jeremy Corbyn; it is an act of weaponising anti-Semitism, for the purpose of purely short-term, sectarian politics. It is even more abhorrent, in this case, because it is being used to wage a sectarian political campaign against an individual that has a proud record of opposing anti-Semitism, and discrimination of all kinds. 

Those that are weaponising anti-Semitism in this way, purely to wage a political campaign against Corbyn, do Jews themselves no favours. The reason this campaign is being organised now, the reason why a comment from six years ago has only now been dredged out from the bowels of the Internet, is that we are weeks away from local elections in which Corbyn's Labour Party is expected to do very well. The same strategy was employed in 2016 and 2017, of launching a divisive attack on Corbyn, of launching what is essentially a witch-hunt, so as to divide the party, and put off potential voters in those elections, because the right of the Party would much rather Labour do badly, and the Tories do well, in order to weaken Corbyn, and his supporters. 

Yet, the truth is that by associating themselves with the Labour Right, and the Tories, the Jewish Leaders are doing no favours to the ordinary Jewish people, and communities they purport to represent. It is ordinary working-class and middle class Jews that will lose out from a continuation of Tory policies. It is the policies of Blairism, continued by the Labour Right that led to urban decay, in many areas that fuelled the right-wing populism, economic nationalism and racism that gushed out in the Brexit vote, and which threatens minority communities, including Jewish communities, across Britain. The Jewish Leaders might be protecting their established links with the old Blair-right politicians, but they are doing no favours for ordinary Jewish workers and communities. 

And they are doing no favours to Jews more generally by their actions either. By weaponising anti-Semitism, as a means of attacking Corbyn and his supporters, they are undermining the struggle against real anti-Semitism, for simply short term sectarian political gain. Over the last couple of years, the tactic has been well developed, of accusing anyone who challenges the politics of the right of being anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic and so on. If a right-wing woman councillor was deselected, the response was to accuse party members of being misogynistic, or if they were Jewish then the deselection was clearly motivated by anti-Semitism, rather than any question that party members might actually politically disagree with the Councillor, and so on. 

Similarly, comments by Labour Party members opposing Zionism, or the actions of the Israeli state have been equated with anti-Semitism, and used as a weapon to demand their suspension or expulsion from the party. Today on TV I heard one newsreader actually ask a supporter of Corbyn, “Well, Corbyn might not be anti-Semitic, but he is anti-Israel, isn't he?”, as though these were supposed to naturally be considered to be the same thing. In fact, as far as I am aware, Corbyn is not “anti-Israel”. As far as I am aware, he supports a Two State Solution, which is something, which in practice, although successive British Prime Ministers have given lip-service to, none of them have shown any real determination to bring about! And this is another explanation of what is really going on here, because the truth is that whilst right-wing Labour politicians have been technically committed to a Two State solution, just as have US Presidents, the reality is that they have simply sat back whilst the Israeli state has continued to support settlers as they occupied one piece of land after another on the West Bank, thereby making a Two-State solution nigh on impossible, and they have similarly sat back whilst the Israeli State systematically discriminates against Israeli Arabs, and whilst it undertakes murderous attacks on Palestinian men, women and children, including with the use of internationally outlawed munitions. 

The reason that the leaders of these Jewish organisations have been prepared to allow themselves to be used as useful idiots by the Labour Right in their sectarian war against Corbyn, is that on this they have common cause, because the leaders of the Jewish Establishment also have close links with the Israeli State itself. In their minds there is no difference between anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism, or criticism of the actions of the Israeli state. But, for socialists there is no reason to hold Jews responsible for the murderous, and racist actions of the Israeli state, any more than we would hold British people responsible for the actions of the British state in holding millions of people as slaves during the age of British colonialism. 

As a state, Israel is entitled to defend itself from attack in the same way as any other state would do. Those who deny Israel that right, let alone those who deny the right of Israel to exist as a state, are indeed guilty of a form of anti-Semitism, because they hold Israel, as a Jewish state to a set of rules that they do not hold any other state. That form of left anti-Semitism is still to be opposed, but it is driven by a hostility to the colonialist and racist ideology that gave rise to the current Israeli state, and to its current behaviour, rather than to a hatred of Jews for being Jews. But, whilst Israel has a right to be treated in the same way as any other state, that does not give it the right to occupy Palestinian lands on the West Bank, nor to discriminate against Israeli Arabs, nor to impose collective punishment on Palestinians, or to use excessive military force against Palestinians. 

By equating criticism of the actions of the Israeli state with anti-Semitism, in order to attack Corbyn the Labour Right, and their mouthpieces in the Tory media, as well as the leaders of the Jewish establishment undermine any struggle against real anti-Semitism, because any decent democratic, defender of human rights, let alone any socialist, must be led to attack those indefensible actions of the Israeli state, must speak out in defence of Palestinian rights. By delegitimising any such criticism of the Israeli state, or of Zionism, by equating it with anti-Semitism, the leaders of the Jewish establishment thereby do the work of the real anti-Semites for them, because they thereby make all Jews, wherever they are in the world equivalent to the Israeli state, and thereby responsible for its heinous acts. They thereby invite attacks on all Jews in retribution for the actions of the Israeli state. 

That is the longer term consequence for all Jews of the self-centred, short-term strategy of weaponising anti-Semitism, simply for the purpose of attacking Corbyn and his supporters. It is time for ordinary Jews to reject that self-serving action of the leaders of the Jewish establishment, and to call them to account. It is time they objected to Jews being used as pawns by that establishment, and by the Labour Right, simply to fulfil their own sectarian political ends. It is time to clearly distinguish between opposing the reactionary nationalist ideology that is Zionism, as opposed to anti-Semitism. It is time for all Jews to recognise that they have more in common with Palestinian and Arab workers than with the reactionary regime of Netanyahu, and the Israeli ruling class, and that a real solution in the Middle East will only arise on the basis of such shared interest, and the creation of a United States of the Middle East, within which all workers can struggle for a Workers Government.