Sunday, 21 July 2019

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 59

As described above, the development of production on an even larger scale, resulted, even by the end of the 19th century, in a modification of that condition. As Engels put it, in his Critique of the Erfurt Programme

“Capitalist production by joint-stock companies is no longer private production but production on behalf of many associated people. And when we pass on from joint-stock companies to trusts, which dominate and monopolise whole branches of industry, this puts an end not only to private production but also to planlessness.” 

Moreover, the development of the Internet, of electronic point of sale, of flexible specialisation, itself made possible by the further development of automation and robotisation, have meant that although production continues to be predicated on mass production for mass markets, the production can be planned to rise or fall in accordance with constantly updated market information. Indeed, the further development of artificial intelligence means that predictive algorithms will be able to forecast future changes in market conditions, and adjust production accordingly, in the same way that it is able to foresee changes in road conditions, and change the settings for cars suspension and braking systems. 

“Thus if the commodities remain in the circulation reservoirs for a long time—if they accumulate there—then they will soon glut them as a result of the speed with which the waves of production follow one another and the huge amount of goods which they deposit continuously in the reservoirs.” (p 286) 

Marx himself, however, noted the extent to which these very processes lead to their negation. The increase in the scale of production, the constant flow of output and the improvement in transport and communication reduced the need to hold reserves. 

“In part—insofar as it is concerned with industrial consumption—this is already implied by the close succession of the production phases which the commodity itself or its ingredients have to undergo. If coal is produced daily on a mass scale and brought to the manufacturer’s door by railways, steamships, etc., he does not need to have a stock of coal, or at most only a very small one; or, what amounts to the same thing, if a merchant acts as an intermediary, he only needs to keep a small amount of stock over and above the amount he sells daily and which is daily delivered to him. The same applies to yarn, iron, etc.” (p 286) 

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 58

The more durable a commodity, the longer it may remain in circulation, but other commodities are highly perishable. Unless consumed in a given time, their use value disappears and, along with their exchange value, because a commodity only has exchange-value to the extent it is also a use value. This was a greater problem in the 19th century, prior to the development of refrigeration systems. 

“In general, it is clear that although in absolute terms the quantity of the commodities which have been stored up in the reservoirs of circulation increases as a result of the development of industry, because production and consumption increase, this same quantity represents a decrease in comparison with the total annual production and consumption. The transition of commodities from circulation to consumption takes place more rapidly.” (p 285) 

Marx describes three reasons why the rate of turnover increases. Firstly, increased production means that any given quantity of commodities remains in the production stage for less time. The working period is determined by this quantity. In other words, in each industry, there is a given quantity of production that must be produced before it is sent to market. For large items, like a ship, it may be just a single commodity. For smaller items it may be that, say, a thousand ball-bearings have to be produced before they are shipped. There is no point sending single ball-bearings to market. The actual size of this minimum output will change, for any commodity, over time, because more efficient transport may enable larger shipments to be made, wholesalers and retailers may require larger quantities to sell, because their own rate of turnover increases. On the other hand, improved communications may mean that orders can be sent out more quickly, and responded to. So, for example, with Just In Time, end producers want smaller more frequent deliveries, which means that their suppliers have to work on smaller minimum levels of output, for a working period. 

As productivity rises for any given level of output, less time is taken up in production, so the rate of turnover rises. The increased productivity may be the result just of the division of labour, but the main improvements arise from the introduction of more and better machines. 

Even just production on a larger scale reduces the time spent in production, because if 1,000 units is required for a production period, and it takes 10 workers 10 days to produce, 20 workers will reduce that to 5 days, or less. But, similarly, production on a larger scale brings economies of scale.  It also means that production becomes more concentrated, so that the components of production, in one industry, are often produced nearby, and thereby, more quickly delivered, and so on. 

Where the production time is extended, beyond the working period, because of a reliance on natural or chemical processes, scientific advances can also speed up those processes. Animal breeding makes them ready for market sooner, plant selection means that more than one crop per year can be harvested, chemical processes can be speeded up, and so on. 

Secondly, improvements in transport and communications speed up the time spent in circulation. As I've described elsewhere, that can today be seen notably in things like containerisation, but, in economies dominated by service production, the role of the Internet has had an even more revolutionising role. The removal of borders in the EU has also acted to speed up the circulation of goods and services. 


“This whole development—the shortening both of the various phases of the production process and of the transition from one phase to another—presupposes production on a large scale, mass production and, at the same time, production based on a large amount of constant capital, especially fixed capital; [it requires] therefore a continuous flow of production. But not in the sense in which we have earlier considered the flow, that is, not as the closing of and overlapping of the separate production phases, but in the sense that there are no deliberate breaks in production. These occur as long as work is done to order, as in the handicrafts, and continue even in manufacture properly so-called (insofar as this has not been reshaped by large-scale industry). In modern industry, however, work is carried out on the scale allowed by the capital. This process does not wait on demand, but is a function of capital. Capital works on the same scale continuously (if one disregards accumulation or expansion) and constantly develops and extends the productive forces. Production is therefore not only rapid, so that the commodity quickly acquires the form in which it is suitable for circulation, but it is continuous. Production here appears only as constant reproduction and at the same time it takes place on a mass scale.” (p 285-6) 

Northern Soul Classics - Talking Eyes - Pamela Beaty

Friday, 19 July 2019

Friday Night Disco - Cleo's Mood - Junior Walker & The All Stars

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 57

Marx discusses, here, the role of the rate of turnover of capital

“The period during which the commodity stays in circulation and is replaced by new commodities naturally depends also on the length of time in which the commodities remain in the production sphere, that is, on the duration of their reproduction time, and varies in accordance with their different length.” (p 284) 

As Engels also described, in Capital III, Chapter 4, in relation to the rate of turnover, it is a significant factor in relation to crises of overproduction. The longer the period of turnover of capital, the greater the chance of changes in the market. Consumer preferences may change, so that what was in great demand six months ago might today be seen as just a passing fad; some new commodity may have hit the market as a substitute and so on. 

Different commodities have different rates of turnover. Some commodities have prolonged working periods. For example, a ship cannot be sold, and pass into the sphere of consumption until it is complete, and able to set to sea. Other commodities may have shorter working periods, but have prolonged production times, because the production process is dependent on natural processes, for example, crops must grow, wine must ferment and so on. Other commodities may spend less time in production, but spend longer in the circulation phase. That was more the case when goods had to be shipped across the globe by sailing ship, but, even today, some commodities may require considerably longer in the circulation phase than others, though often some of this may be illusory. With flexible specialisation and Just In Time production and stock control system, many commodities can effectively be produced to order. 

Large builders usually only sell houses to buyers off plan, and so only commit capital to construction when they have already sold the house to a potential buyer. Even in the 1970's, when I worked for a large pottery manufacturer, production was determined by the stream of orders that came in from retailers. The retailers always had some pottery in their store, but this played the same role that a show house plays for a builder. It is there as a sample and advertisement. The same applies to cars in a car showroom. Rarely would a buyer buy a new car directly from the showroom. Showroom models are usually sold when they are older, and at a discount. Buyers place orders with dealers, who, in turn, place orders with manufacturers. 

None of that changes the requirement to produce on a massive scale, it simply means that, with flexible specialisation, and Just In Time, variations in production can continually be made at the margin. Similarly, EPOS systems of large retailers enable sales data to be continually passed back along the supply change so that, increasingly, production is planned in line with consumption. At the Toyota plant at Burnaston the Just In Time production and stock control system requires that parts are delivered every 15 minutes, and deliveries cannot be made other than at these times. That means the productive supply is kept to a minimum, whilst any marginal changes in production, for example, to move production from one range to another, one specification to another, can be passed through immediately into the delivery of the appropriate components. 

“These reservoirs serve as channels both for the commodities issuing from production and those going to the consumer. As long as the commodities remain in one of them, they are commodities and are therefore on the market, in circulation. They are withdrawn only piecemeal, in small quantities, by the annual consumption. The replacement, the stream of new commodities which are to displace them, arrives only in the following year. Thus these reservoirs are only depleted gradually, in the measure that their replacements move forward. If there is a surplus and if the new harvest is above the average, then a stoppage takes place. The space which these particular commodities were to have occupied in the market is overstocked. In order to permit the whole quantity to find a place on the market, the price of the commodities is reduced, and this causes them to move again. If the total quantity of use-values is too large, they accommodate themselves to the space they have to occupy by a reduction of their prices. If the quantity is too small, it is expanded by an increase of their prices.” (p 284) 

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 56

The circuit M – C … P... C` - M`, as Marx sets out in Capital II, is only the circuit for newly invested money-capital, such as where a new business is established, or where realised profits are reinvested. But, for the reasons Marx describes here, this represents only a tiny proportion of the total capital employed. The other instance where the circuit M – C … P... C` - M` applies is where capital ceases operating, when a business closes down, so that all of the productive-capital, as well as the commodity-capital is liquidated, and is thereby converted from capital into money revenue, with no requirement to act as money-capital in the process of metamorphosis into productive-capital

As Marx describes, in the next chapter, in discussing Ramsay, if the circuit of capital is viewed as M – C … P … C` - M`, rather than P … C` - M`. M – C … P, or C` - M`. M – C`, in the case of merchant capital, this creates an illusion of profit where capital is released as a result of a fall in the value of constant capital, i.e. where the value falls compared to its historic price. But, this illusion of additional profit disappears, as soon as the assumption of continuous capitalist production is restored. Then, on the basis of values (current reproduction cost) rather than historic prices, no such spurious profits or losses arise, but the rate of profit does change according to the change in the value of the advanced capital
If we disregard the profit of the shopkeeper, 

“The movement C—M—C also takes place in the transactions of the shopkeeper.” (p 283) 

The shopkeeper effectively acts as an intermediary between the consumer and producer. They act as agent of the consumer in buying the commodity, and agent of the producer in selling the commodity. The money they obtain from the consumer is the same money they use to buy the commodity from the producer. Obviously, not the self-same use value, just as the house of today cannot be built with the bricks the builder buys tomorrow, but the use values that replace those currently consumed

“Insofar as he buys again from the producer with the money, this constitutes the first metamorphosis of the producer’s commodity and signifies the transition of the commodity into the intermediate stage, where it remains as a commodity in the sphere of circulation. C—M—C, insofar as it concerns the transformation of the commodity into the consumer’s money and the transformation back again of the money, whose owner is now the shopkeeper, into the same commodity (a commodity of the same kind), expresses merely the constant passing over of commodities into consumption, for the vacuum left by the commodity reaching the sphere of consumption must be filled by the commodity emerging from the production process and now entering this stage.” (p 283-4) 

The shopkeeper here symbolises all of the merchants through whose hands the commodity passes prior to sale to the final consumer.

Back To Part 55

Forward To Part 57

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 55

As Marx sets out, in the next chapter, in discussing Ramsay, this fact, in bringing about a release or tie up of capital, also creates the illusion of additional profits or losses. 

These considerations of value, however, are not the same as the consideration of prices that can change wildly, as a consequence of blockages in the process of circulation itself. 

“If the intermediate stage is prolonged so that the commodities which emerge anew from the sphere of production find the market still occupied by the old ones, then it becomes overcrowded, a stoppage occurs, the market is glutted, the commodities decline in value, there is overproduction. Where, therefore, the intermediate stage of circulation acquires independent existence so that the flow of the stream is not merely slowed down, where the existence of the commodities in the circulation phase appears as storing up, then this is not brought about by a free act on the part of the producer, it is not an aim or an immanent aspect of production, any more than the flow of blood to the head leading to apoplexy is an immanent aspect of the circulation of the blood. Capital as commodity capital (and this is the form in which it appears in the circulation phase, on the market) must not become stationary, it must only constitute a pause in the movement. Otherwise the reproduction process is interrupted and the whole mechanism is thrown into confusion.” (p 282) 

In other words, in systems of barter, and even in systems of petty commodity production, or even early forms of capitalist production, based on handicraft or manufacture, if producers find that it is taking longer to sell the commodities they take to market, they can simply slow down the flow of commodities. That way, conditions of glut leading to dramatic falls in prices are avoided. The producers then also slow down their own production, and their own demand for inputs. They may look for alternative commodities to produce that may sell, or they may devote more of their time to production to meet their own needs. 

Large-scale industrial capital cannot do that, because it is premised on mass production to meet demand from mass markets, and, as such, it is production undertaken speculatively, in the expectation that the demand that existed yesterday will exist today, and will exist to a greater extent tomorrow. If, for any reason, a blockage arises in the circulation, the prices of commodities fall dramatically, not because their value or current reproduction cost has fallen, but because the excess supply can only be cleared at these lower prices. It represents a condition in which social labour was expended unnecessarily. 

“This materialised wealth which is concentrated at a few points is—and can only be—very small in comparison to the continuous stream of production and consumption. Wealth, therefore, according to Smith, is “the annual” reproduction. It is not, that is to say, something out of the dim past. It is always something which emerges from yesterday.” (p 282-3) 

The indication of that is that if some disruption of production occurs, the stores rapidly empty. It's only necessary to consider a strike by tanker drivers to see how quickly petrol stations run out of fuel to see that point. 

“... and it would soon be evident that the permanency which the existing wealth appears to possess, is only the permanency of its being replaced, of its reproduction, that it is a continuous materialisation of social labour.” (p 283) 

This illustrates the point made by Marx, in Capital II, that for industrial capital the circuit of capital is P … C` - M`. M – C … P. And, similarly, as Marx describes in Capital II, for merchant capital, the circuit is C` - M`. M – C`. 

“The movement C—M—C also takes place in the transactions of the shopkeeper. Insofar as he makes a “profit”, it is a matter which does not concern us here. He sells goods and buys the same goods (the same type of goods) over again. He sells them to the consumer and buys them again from the producer. Here the same (type of) commodity is converted perpetually into money and money back again continuously into the same commodity. This movement, however, simply represents continuous reproduction, continuous production and consumption, for reproduction includes consumption. (The commodity must be sold, must reach the sphere of consumption in order that it can be reproduced.) It must be accepted as a use-value. (For C—M for the seller is M—C for the buyer, that is, the conversion of money into a commodity as use-value.) The reproduction process, since it is a unity of circulation and production, includes consumption, which is itself an aspect of circulation. Consumption is itself both an aspect and a condition of the reproduction process.” (p 283) 

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 54

Marx also illustrates the importance of demand, here, in his theory of crises, because it is precisely in this sphere of circulation that the circuit of capital can break down. It's here that the mass of commodities, thrown into circulation, may become blocked, causing a glut, which then results in a fall in the prices of the commodities in circulation. If trains do not move out of the station, the trains elsewhere on the circuit get stopped. 

On the one hand, use values are continually being produced and reproduced. And, here, Marx illustrates the problem with historic pricing. Its true, to use the argument of proponents of historic pricing that the house of today cannot be built with the bricks produced tomorrow, but all that tells us is that the actual use values used in production today cannot be those which are not produced until tomorrow. But, that is irrelevant. Commodities, as Marx established in Capital I, are always only considered as individual examples of their species. If I buy two Mars Bars together, they are not identical. If I eat one, I have not eaten the other. Yet, as commodities, as representatives of other commodities of their class, they are identical, in terms of their exchange-value, as opposed to their use value – because both represent equal amounts of average socially necessary labour-time. Indeed, even in terms of their individual value, as opposed to their market value, or exchange-value they will differ, because one bar, will necessarily have embodied a different quantity of concrete labour than the other, even if only to a tiny amount. But, commodities do not sell at their individual value, the amount of labour actually embodied in their production, but according to their market value, i.e. according to the average socially necessary labour required currently for their reproduction. 

Their use value would have to be notably different for that not to be the case, just as it would have to be the case that the use value of bricks used in the construction of a house today would have to be notably different to the use value of bricks coming out of the brickworks today and tomorrow, to replace them in the builders' stores, in order that their market value is different. Otherwise, that market value is determined by the labour-time currently required for their reproduction

“The immobile, independent existence of this world of commodities, of things, is only illusory. The station is always full, but always full of different travellers. The same commodities (commodities of the same kind) are constantly produced anew in the sphere of production, available on the market and absorbed in consumption. Not the identical commodities, but commodities of the same type, can always be found in these three stages simultaneously.” (p 282) 

So long as those commodities have not been sold, i.e. that they have not left the sphere of circulation and entered the sphere of consumption, their value is determined by their current reproduction cost, not by their historic price. And, that applies equally to where those commodities comprise intermediate production that forms a component part of constant capital. For example, as Marx describes in Capital III, Chapter 6, if the value of cotton falls, that fall affects the value of all cotton still in the market, including that in the process of being spun into yarn, being woven into cloth, or turned into clothing etc. 

Monday, 15 July 2019

Oppose External Interference in the Labour Movement

From the time the labour movement began, a central principle of is has been that socialists do not run to the bosses' courts to resolve internal disputes.  The foundation of that principle is quite simple and straightforward; the bosses are our class enemy, they utilise their courts and other arms of the capitalist state to further their interests and to undermine ours.  Any resort to any of the bosses organisations, or organisations external to the structures of the labour movement, is, therefore, tantamount to siding with our mortal class enemy against the labour movement itself.  

The right-wing of the Labour Party, be it right-wing Labour MP's, or their allies in the Lords, in local councils, or within the permanent party machinery continually talk about their desire for preserving "Labour values", yet, time and again they show that they have absolutely no clue what those values actually are.  Its not just their willingness to resort to the bosses' courts, to non-governmental state bodies such as the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, or their demand, now, that some "independent panel" should be brought in to adjudicate over questions of anti-semitism, and disciplinary action against members charged with such offences, but their repeated willingness to run at the drop of a hat to the bosses' media to make their complaints and attacks on the Labour Movement, and not just any old part of the bosses media, even, but its lowest most vile, racist and bigoted representatives, such as the Daily Mail, Daily Express and the Sun.

It is indeed ironic that those Labour MP's who protest about anti-Semitism, are themselves the same people who are to be seen writing, on a regular basis, in The Daily Mail, a newspaper that regularly plumbs the depths of gutter journalism in its promotion of bigotry and xenophobia, and which in the 1930's was a prominent supporter of Hitler and of Mussolini!  But, in truth, the Express, Sun, Star etc are little better, when it comes to spreading vile lies and bigotry, yet the "values" of these right-wing Labourites seems to offer no resistance to their willingness to rush to these Tory rags in order to cultivate support for their own rabid attacks on the Labour Movement they claim to belong to.

The Party had no alternative but to cooperate with the EHRC investigation into whether the party was systemically anti-Semitic, but the involvement of the EHRC at the instigation of these right-wing elements was itself simply a part of the now long standing attack on Corbyn and the Left, by the Right of the Party and their Tory associates, having failed miserably on two occasions to defeat Corbyn and his supporters.  The use of the EHRC is simply a means for the Labour Right, having failed to win their case by normal democratic debate inside the movement, to enlist the support of the bosses state to achieve its ends.  The involvement of the EHRC is mischievous.  It is quite clear that the Labour Party, which has a proud history of fighting racism and bigotry of all kinds, is not systemically anti-Semitic.  If it were, then its hard to understand why so many Jewish people have played such prominent positions within it over the years. 

That there may be anti-Semitic members of the party, is not evidence of systemic anti-Semitism, any more than the fact that there have always been Labour Party members that were racist, homophobic, or misogynist was an indication that the Party suffered from systemic deficiencies in all those areas either.  The main defect the party can be criticised for is a failure to deal rapidly with the allegations of Anti-semitism that have been raised over the last few years.  But, most of that deficiency arose under the old regime, when the NEC and the party machinery was still under the control of the Blair-right wing of the party.  It has been since those Blair-rights have been replaced in the last year or so, that far more resources and personnel have been introduced to deal with the problem.  It is indeed rather rich, for some of those that were part of the old Blair-right dominated party machinery, who failed to deal with the processing of charges of anti-Semitism efficiently and promptly, to now lay charges against the Party, when it has begun to devote the necessary resources to deal with the problem they left in their wake.

Moreover, many of the large number of allegations that have been dumped on the new party machinery to deal with, are themselves thoroughly spurious and time wasting.  A large proportion of the allegations that were brought were not even against Labour party members!  Rather like the BBC hatchet job, Panorama mockumentary, which carried unattributed comments, and anti-Semitic statements at the bottom of the screen that were not in any way connected with Labour Party members, with written or verbal statements that could be traced, rather than simply the usual nauseous comments made by trolls on the Internet, all of these spurious charges brought by the Labour Right have no other purpose than to inflate the number of reported allegations, and to unnecessarily tie down the party machinery in weeding out such spurious allegations from real instances that need to be quickly dealt with.

The EHRC investigation might, of course, be a blessing in disguise.  Occasionally, even the bosses' courts give a ruling in favour of the workers.  The EHRC might itself proclaim that the demands made for it to investigate the Labour Party were spurious and politically motivated.  It should, because they are.  Were it to do so, the short term benefit that the Labour Right might have obtained by a media story about the investigation, would quickly turn into a much larger, longer term hit to their strategic goal of undermining Corbyn and the Labour Party.  It would open the door to a Labour Movement Inquiry into those Labour MP's that demanded such an investigation, and to investigate their actual motives for bringing these charges, into their links with outside organisations hostile to the Labour Movement, with the rabid Tory press and so on.  It would open the door, for Labour to demand a similar inquiry by the EHRC into Islamophobia in the Tory Party, already highlighted by Baroness Warsi and other Tories etc.

But, of course, we should not expect any such impartial inquiry by the EHRC.  Such state, and quasi state bodies are not there to be impartial when it comes to dealing with the class interests of workers and the Labour movement, as against the interests of capital.  They are there to protect the interests of capital in whatever way they can.  In Corbyn, and his supporters they see a challenge to the interests of capital.  Even though these same elements see the Tory Right, and Boris Johnson as also a threat to capital, because of their pursuance of Brexit, and despite Labour's late conversion to the idea of a second referendum, they still see Corbyn as a threat, not because of what Corbyn himself represents - he is only a social democrat in the spirit of Attlee or Wilson, with whom they rubbed along nicely in the past - but because of the forces in society that a Corbyn government could itself release,  as workers again began to feel more confidence beneath their feet, were enabled to organise more effectively freed of the anti-union laws, and so on.  That is why they are using every tool in their box to try to undermine Corbyn and his supporters.  It is why we should not let them. 

The idea that the EHRC is neutral is a naive fantasy.  Even Jacob Rees-Mogg is honest enough to recognise and to say that the state is not neutral or impartial.  He knows and understands with innate class consciousness that the capitalist state is there to protect and to extend the interests of the dominant section of capital, and to do so means undermining its opponents whoever they may be.  What gripes Mogg is the fact that when it comes to Brexit, the interests of the dominant section of capital are counterposed to those he seeks to represent, of the small capitalists, and his desire to return British capitalism to the kind of golden era that his mentors Hayek and Mises envisioned existed in the 18th and early 19th centuries, based upon rampant free market competition.  But, he is right, the capitalist state is not neutral, and all of the furore over Kim Darroch over the last week, and Johnson's refusal to back him, along with the attacks on other anti-Brexit civil servants are a part of that same narrative.

The right-wing populists like Trump, Orban, Netanyahu, and Johnson along with the reactionaries like Rees-Mogg in alliance with them, have done the Left an involuntary but valuable service by setting out this truth that the state is not neutral, but is an organ of class rule.  Another example of it, can be seen in Israel today, where as Thomas Friedman of the New York Times describes, it is facing turning into a "Jewish Banana Republic", as Netanyahu has called for the Prime Minister (him)  to be above the law, and unindictable, as with the US President, and has said that, if his right-wing coalition is reelected he will legislate for that.  And, as with the right-wing regime of Orban in Hungary, which has stripped away the independence of the judiciary, so too Netanyahu has said that of the Israeli Supreme Court struck down such legislation, he would move against the Supreme Court, allowing the government to override it.  This is an extension of the "illiberal democracy" that Orban has described, and which has been advanced by Putin.  It is a common theme amongst these right-wing populists, as they resort to Bonapartism. 

What this signifies is that the reactionary Right understand by their natural class instinct that the state is not impartial, and that state is hostile to the reactionary direction in which they seek to tread.  They understand that to pursue their agenda they cannot be constrained by the normal rules of liberal democracy that have applied for the last half century, because those rules will see the state and its institutions undermine them at every step.  So, they seek not to acquiesce in the interference of those state and quasi state institutions, but to by-pass them, to shackle them.  That is what was behind the leaking of Darroch's missives, it is what was behind the attacks on the Courts over Brexit and so on.

For socialists, it is important not to be confused into thinking that just these right-wing populists and reactionaries are seeking to undermine the state for their own interests, we should drop our own criticism of the state, or our own understanding that it is not impartial.  That is what the Blair-rights and other liberals would have us do, and it is why, now, they are so motivated to organise their attacks on Corbyn and the left of the party.

We should agree with the likes of Mogg that the capitalist state is not neutral, and as a consequence we should reject all suggestions that there can be any "impartial" "independent", external inquiry into the Labour Movement's procedures over anti-Semitism or anything else.  Our affairs and our procedures are our responsibility and no one else's.  If there are deficiencies then it is up to the Labour Movement itself, and its members to resolve, and certainly not some external body, whose membership will undoubdtedly be comprised of elements hostile to Socialism.

The Labour Right have repeatedly failed to win the political arguments and battles inside the Labour Party.  The experience of the Chukas demonstrates what fate awaits them should they leave the Party, especially now that Corbyn's belated move begins to cut off the path to a realignment around the Liberals.  They have only the hope of using the bosses state and its organisations to fight their battles for them.  The clear hope of inserting an alien "independent" panel will be to begin with wholesale expulsions of Left-wing members of the party, and if that succeeds, a whole wave of further spurious charges against members will follow, leading ever closer to the door of Corbyn himself.  As with many of those already expelled, where no charge of anti-Semitism could be made to stick, members will be expelled as with Jackie Walker on the grounds of the catch-all, bringing the party into disrepute.

Its time, for the Labour Leadership to grow a back bone and begin to take on the Labour Right.  Every concession made to them has simply led to them coming forward with ever more scurrilous attacks and demands.  Its time to stop the rot, and to on them, and their prince across the water, Watson. 

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 53

But, the concept of storing up is itself just a figure of speech. As Hodgskin previously set out, a lot of the wage goods that workers consume are not ones that have been stored up somewhere, waiting to be issued as wages. They are goods that are themselves currently being produced. A lot of what is consumed is merely part of circulation. Accumulation, therefore, of circulating capital, can take the form not of larger stores, but simply of greater volumes of circulation. A supermarket undoubtedly holds a greater level of stock than a small corner shop, but the real basis of its greater sales is the fact that it turns over its stock at a far more rapid pace. The use of “Just In Time” production and stock control systems shows that far larger levels of output can be achieved with lower and lower levels of stock, if the stock is simply turned over more quickly. In so doing, the companies that adopt such a system raise their annual rate of profit, by reducing the amount of their advanced circulating capital. 

Marx makes a distinction between this increase in the volume of circulation, and the stocks held by say shopkeepers. 

“First of all, we are not speaking here of the shopkeepers who sell means of subsistence. These must naturally have a full stock in trade. Their stores, shops, etc. are simply reservoirs in which the various commodities are stored once they are ready for circulation. This kind of storing is merely an interim period in which the commodity remains until it leaves the sphere of circulation and enters that of consumption. It is its mode of existence as a commodity on the market. Strictly speaking, as a commodity it exists only in this form.” (p 281) 

The shops, warehouses, and so on are only holding pens for these commodities. But, the real storing up that enables more workers to be employed, more production to take place, really comes down to the volume of commodities that pass through those holding pens. To use the analogy that Marx uses later, the determinant of how much the freight, or how many passengers can be carried on a railway is how many trains have been “stored up”, how many carriages, and so on, not how many are standing in the station at any one time. 

“If this is called “storing up” then it means nothing more than “circulation” or the existence of commodities as commodities. This kind of “storing” is exactly the opposite of treasure-hoarding, the aim of which is to retain commodities permanently in the form in which they are capable of entering into circulation, and it achieves this only by withdrawing commodities in the form of money from circulation. If production, and therefore also consumption, is varied and on a mass scale, then a greater quantity of the most diverse commodities will be found continually at this stopping place, at this intermediate station, in a word, in circulation or on the market. Regarded from the standpoint of quantity, storing on a large scale in this context means nothing more than production and consumption on a large scale.” (p 281-2) 

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 52

[c)] So-called Accumulation as a Mere Phenomenon of Circulation. (Stock, etc.—Circulation Reservoirs) 

In considering circulating capital, Hodgskin only considers variable-capital, i.e. that portion that constitutes the use values that form wage goods consumed by workers. However, a part of circulating capital (wear and tear of fixed capital) continually replaces fixed capital, as well as auxiliary materials. But, a much larger proportion consists of raw materials, which enter either as primary products or as intermediate production

“The problem Hodgskin is concerned with is: what is the relation of the present labour performed by the worker for the capitalist to the labour embodied in his articles of consumption, the labour contained in those articles on which his wages are spent, which, in actual fact, are the use-values of which variable capital consists? It is admitted that the worker cannot labour without finding these articles ready for consumption. And that is why the economists say that circulating capital—the previous labour, commodities already created which the capitalist has stored up—is the condition for labour and, amongst other things, also the condition for the division of labour.” (p 280-1) 

Herein, of course, resides the basis of surplus value, because the labour that the workers, as a class, perform, and which determines the value they produce, has no necessary relation to the past labour they have performed, and which determines the value of the variable-capital, i.e. the value of the wage goods required for the reproduction of their labour-power. The variable-capital is usually conceived as being all of these commodities that constitute wage goods, as though they have been stored up, as a hoard, to be paid to the workers as wages. There may have been some element of that with agricultural labourers paid in kind. With the Truck System, employers operated shops, which sold wage goods to their workers, which could only be bought with tokens paid to the workers in their wages. However, this concept of the storing up of use values that comprise the variable-capital, really applies to the relation between capitalists and workers in aggregate. Individual capitalists do not store up these wage goods to pay to their workers as wages. They store up money-capital, as an equivalent value, which is paid out as wages. Department I capitalists do not produce wage goods. 

It is only Department IIa capitalists that produce wage goods/necessaries, and, of these, each individual capitalist only produces a portion of the total. In other words, some produce food, some produce clothes, some produce shelter, some produce transport, some produce entertainment, leisure, education and so on. So, each individual capitalist firm, in Department IIa, only stores up a portion of the total wage goods, as a part of their commodity-capital. And, not all of this commodity-capital is stored up wage goods, because a part of it is exchanged with other capitalists, landlords etc. to meet their consumption needs. As Marx sets out in Capital II, the workers, as a whole, receive the wage goods they require from the capitalists, as a whole, in exchange for their money wages. They do so either directly, or indirectly. In other words, Department IIa workers are paid money wages by their employers, which they exchange directly with those employers for wage goods. Department I and Department IIb workers are paid money wages by their employers, and their employers obtain the money to pay those money wages from Department IIa capitalists, in payment for that part of the the means of production, or luxury goods sold to them, equal to the value of the variable-capital consumed in their production. The Department I, and Department IIb workers then exchange these money wages for wage goods produced by Department IIa

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 51

Whilst it may not be possible to build a house today with the actual bricks (use values) produced tomorrow, the bricks used in production today are simultaneously being reproduced today in the brickworks, and the value of these bricks, as commodities, is determined by their current reproduction cost. The value of the bricks laid today, whatever their value when they were produced, and whatever price the builder paid for them, can be no different to that of the identical bricks streaming out of the brickworks to replace them. To believe that they could be is to hold an extreme and bizarre form of commodity fetishism that is wholly contrary to, and undermining of Marx's theory of value. 

“Since the continuous, constantly repeated process of production is, at the same time, a process of reproduction, it is therefore equally dependent on the coexisting labour which produces the various phases of the product simultaneously, while the product is passing through metamorphosis from one phase to another. [Raw] cotton, yarn, fabric, are not only produced one after the other and from one another, but they are produced and reproduced simultaneously, alongside one another. What appears as the effect of antecedent labour, if one considers the production process of the individual commodity, presents itself at the same time as the effect of coexisting labour, if one considers the reproduction process of the commodity, that is, if one considers this production process in its continuous motion and in the entirety of its conditions, and not merely an isolated action or a limited part of it. There exists not only a cycle comprising various phases, but all the phases of the commodity are simultaneously produced in the various spheres and branches of production. If the same peasant just plants flax, then spins it, then weaves it, these operations are performed in succession, but not simultaneously as the mode of production based on the division of labour within society presupposes.” (p 279) 

The antecedent labour is always a precondition in providing the means of production as use values, required for current production. It is this fact that the capitalists themselves and their apologists emphasise in justifying the dominance of this dead labour over living labour. By also emphasising the role of the products of this past labour, as required for current production production, the proponents of historic pricing are drawn down the same path. 

“In production and circulation, on the other hand, the mediating social labour on which the [production] process of the commodity in each particular phase depends and by which it is determined, appears as present, coexisting, contemporaneous labour. The early forms of the commodity and its successive or completed forms are produced simultaneously. Unless this happened it would not be possible, after it has undergone its real metamorphosis, to reconvert it from money into its conditions of existence. A commodity is thus the product of antecedent labour only insofar as it is the product of contemporaneous living labour.” (p 280) 

Northern Soul Classics - Tribute - Bob Sinclair

Friday, 12 July 2019

Friday Night Disco - Everybody Dance - Chic

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 50

As Marx demonstrated in Capital II, the existence of such productive supplies is not peculiar to capitalism. Because capitalism raises production and consumption to much greater levels, these stocks increase in absolute terms, but decline relative to the total production. In part, this is a function of the greater efficiency in the use of these stocks that capitalist production and distribution brings with it, as an economy of scale, but it is also because merchant capitals are able to speed up the circulation process, and rising productivity increases the rate of turnover of circulating capital

“The part of capital which consists of instruments and materials of labour is as “commodities already created” always a precondition in each particular branch of production.” (p 278) 

Just as it is impossible to build a house today with the very same bricks (use values) that are produced tomorrow, so too, 

“It is impossible to spin cotton which has not yet been produced, to operate spindles which have yet to be manufactured, or to burn coal which has not yet been brought up from the mine. These always enter the [production] process as forms of existence of previous labour. Existing labour thus depends on antecedent labour and not only on coexisting labour, although this antecedent labour, whether in the form of means of labour or materials of labour, can only be of any use (productive use) when it is in contact with living labour as a material element of it. Only as an element of industrial consumption, i.e., consumption by labour.” (p 278) 

But, all that has been considered here is use value. It is only the use value cotton that must exist for it to be spun into yarn; it is the use value of spindles that enables the cotton to be spun, not the value of the spindles or the cotton. And, as set out in previous chapters, particularly in Part II, it is these use values that must be reproduced and replaced, on a like for like basis, for social reproduction to occur. 

“But when considering circulation and the reproduction process, we have seen that it is only possible to reproduce the commodity after it is finished and converted into money, because simultaneously all its elements have been produced and reproduced by means of coexisting labour." (p 278)

As Marx has set out, the purpose is the reproduction of the productive-capital, or for the merchant capitalist, the commodity capital, which is the starting point of the circuit of industrial capital.  The conversion of the commodity-capital into money is merely a transitory moment in that circuit, not its termination point.

"A twofold progression takes place in production. Cotton, for example, advances from one phase of production to another. It is produced first of all as raw material, then it is subjected to a number of operations until it is fit to be exported or, if it is further worked up in the same country, it is handed over to a spinner. It then goes on from the spinner to the weaver and from the weaver to the bleacher, dyer, finisher, and thence to various workshops where it is worked up for definite uses, i.e., articles of clothing, bed-linen, etc. Finally it leaves the last producer for the consumer and enters into individual consumption if it does not enter into industrial consumption as means (not material) of labour. But whether it is to be consumed industrially or individually, it has acquired its final form as use-value. What emerges from one sphere of production as a product enters another as a condition of production, and in this way, goes through many successive phases until it receives its last finish as use-value. Here previous labour appears continually as the condition for existing labour. 

Simultaneously, however, while the product is advancing in this way from one phase to another, while it is undergoing this real metamorphosis, production is being carried on at every stage. While the weaver spins the yarn, the spinner is simultaneously spinning cotton, and fresh quantities of raw cotton are in the process of production.” (p 278-9) 

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Johnson Is Trump's Tame Poodle

The Kim Darroch affair shows that Boris Johnson is Trump's tame poodle.  The irony is that Brexit was fought by Johnson and others under the banner of "bring back control", and UK sovereignty, whereas what this affair has shown, is that as Britain is heading out of the EU, it has suffered an historic diminution of control and national sovereignty.   Johnson will turn Britain into a US colony, and a vassal state afraid to say boo to the US goose, and necessarily doing the US's bidding.

That means that when it comes to a trade deal, the US will screw Britain to the wall, in the same way larger companies are able to screw their smaller competitors, suppliers and customers.  It means to get a trade deal with the US, whether Trump is President or not, the UK will have to accept US standards, so as to allow in chlorinated chicken, GM manipulated foods, as well as opening up the NHS and other public services to large US companies to come and take over.  It means that any idea that Britain could negotiate independent trade deals with China, India or other large and growing economies is a fantasy, because the US would insist that it had an effective veto over such deals, in the same way it has written in a veto to NAFTA to prevent Canada or Mexico doing deals with China and other countries that the US disapproves.  An indication of that has already been seen with the US pressure on Britain over Wuawei. 

And, of course, the most damaging element of that will mean that because US standards on things like foodstuffs contradict the higher standards existing in the EU, it would essentially cut Britain off from trade with its major trading partner - the EU.  It would turn the UK into simply a dumping ground for US companies, and a convenient place for US corporations to use as a tax haven as the Tory Right, and their Faragist allies try to look after the interests of their own class fraction.  It would mean that in addition to Johnson and Farage's friends from the Russian oligarchy using London as their own version of 1950's Havana, they will be joined by similar unsavoury elements from the US.

That is the future for Britain whoever is the US President, but under Trump or someone like him, it will be just more obvious that that is the case.  We have seen in recent days that its not just in the US that Russian money from Putin's regime was used to rig the elections.  Before that, it was used to rig the EU referendum in favour of Brexit.  It was used to finance Le Pen's election campaign in France.  It has interfered in elections across Europe to support right-wing nationalist parties, and movements via a series of networks, a part of which was exposed in relation to Cambridge Analytica.  Now its been revealed by Buzzfeed that Russian money went to finance Salvini's right-wing nationalists in Italy.

None of this is coincidental.  As I wrote some time ago, it may seem contradictory that extreme right-wing nationalists might form their own international organisation, but it is a contradiction based on reality.  The extreme nationalists of Hitler's Nazis formed such an international alliance with Mussolini's extreme nationalists in Italy; they formed an alliance with the extreme nationalists in Japan; the extreme nationalists of Zionism sought an alliance both with Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Italy, to fight Britain, in order to create the state of Israel, and so on.  And, indeed many of the same ideas of National Bolshevism that arose out of that era, both in Germany, as well as in Russia, and in Israel underpin the ideology of many of those that are part of this alliance today.

Not all.  National Bolshevism is based upon Strasserite fascism.  It implies an "anti-capitalist" rhetoric that hides an underlying state capitalist, economic nationalist agenda, based upon a strong state, and state intervention in the economy, in support of large businesses.  That agenda is seen in Russia and China, similar arguments are made by Le Pen in France and by other Far Right groups.  Other on the Brexit Right on the other hand, Libertarians like Rees-Mogg, would be appalled at such an agenda.  They are reactionaries in the true sense of the term.  They want to turn the economic clock back to the 18th century, or early 19th century, and to take the state out of the economy almost entirely, and to favour the small businesses on which they are based at the expense of the large businesses that National Bolshevism is based upon.  As I wrote recently, if Brexit were to happen, the dreams of the Moggites would soon be shown to be a fantasy, leading inexorably to the asendancy of the National Bolshevik wing of that extreme nationalism.

There is clearly an international organisation of these extreme right-wing nationalist groups and parties.  It is well financed, and is well connected with its own media outlets, such as Breitbart, Spiked and so on, with equivalents in every country where this international organisation exists.  The trips of some of its more visible proponents such as Steve Bannon, across the globe, the existence now even of schools and training camps for these right-wing nationalists is evidence of it.  They have learned some of the lessons both of Stalinism, and of the Saudi regime which has financed the creation of Madrassas across the globe to ferment the spread of its own Wahabi ideology.

The links between these various extreme right-wing nationalists be it Trump and Putin, Farage and Trump, Farage and Putin, Trump and Johnson, Johnson and Farage, Le Pen and Putin, and so on and so forth are not even hidden, they are out in plain sight for all to see, as is the money that flows from Putin and his associates to the Tory Party and elsewhere to support right-wing nationalists.  Whilst the BBC runs ridiculous hatchet jobs on Jeremy Corbyn and Labour over anti-Semitism, the Tory Party, and its representatives in the British Board of Jewish Deputies, welcome and hob nob with the openly anti-Semitic Trump, welcome the election of the vile anti-Semite, Orban in Hungary, and the British Tories sit in an electoral bloc in the European Parliament with a series of anti-Semitic, and vile mysogynistic and homophobic parties, with not one peep of criticism from the BBC or the Tory media.

So far, all we have had is a damning account of the role of Cambridge Analytica, undertaken by Channel 4 News and the Guardian, whose only real result seems to have been that CA closed down, no doubt only to appear in some other form.  But, nothing has happened, no further investigation into those within the right-wing nationalists in Britain has been done since.  Now we see the leaking of the Kim Darroch internal e-mails, rather like the leaking of Hillary Clinton's e-mails ahead of the US presidential campaign.  There is a clear pattern of behaviour and modus operandii here.  The clear gainers from that leak has been Boris Johnson, Farage and the Briexiteers, who seek to clear out anyone who might be a thorn in the side of them whoring out Britain to Trump.  Its no surprise that Johnson failed to provide even the most basic support for Darroch, whilst the vile Richard Tyce appeared on Newsnight, not to criticise Trump for his outrageous attack on Britain, or Johnson for failing to stand up for British interests against Trump, but instead to attack Darroch for having said in a private assessment what every one else in the world knows, which is that Trump's administration is chaotic and incompetent, and Trump himself is inept and insecure.

This is the future for Brexit Britain.  It will either have to choose to retain its alignment with its largest trading partner the EU, which rationally means scrapping Brexit, or else accepting a  role of dependency on the EU, without any say in the rules and regulations it has to accept to stay in that arrangement, or else it will have to become a vassal of the United States, and thereby increasingly cut its links with Europe and the rest of the world, which would quickly reduce the UK to the level of a small economically weak, third rate state.  Johnson, and the Fargists, prefer this latter option.  That decision is ideologically driven, on the basis of a furthering of right-wing nationalist ideology.  But, as I wrote some time ago, it is also driven by the fact that this international right-wing alliance is channelling substantial sums of money into organisations across the globe to pursue that same nationalist agenda.

Theories of Surplus Value, Part III, Chapter 21 - Part 49

Marx also, in this section, exposes the fallacy contained in the arguments for the use of historic pricing, put forward by proponents of the Temporal Single System Interpretation. Marx notes that “past labour” exists, here, in two forms. One the one hand, it exists as use value, on the other it exists as value. It is undoubtedly true, to use one of the examples put forward to justify the use of historic prices, that you cannot build a house today with the bricks of tomorrow. But, all that tells us is that the labour process of today cannot be undertaken with the specific individual use values of tomorrow, it tells us nothing about the value relations. In fact, what it implies is commodity fetishism, with a concept of value as something intrinsic or embodied and fixed in the commodity, as a consequence of past labour. That is contrary to Marx's concept of value as social or market value, based upon average socially necessary labour. It implies that the commodities that are the products of past labour, and constitute the elements of capital, can somehow have a separate and different market value to every other such commodity of that class, currently in production, or on the market. 

The bourgeois economists proclaim that it is the products of past labour that constitute capital, and it is this vast accumulation of the products of past labour that makes the rise in productivity possible, and which is, thereby, the main source of social wealth. It is that which justifies the dominance of this past labour over living labour. 

It is for this reason that Hodgskin asserts on the contrary that this physical factor, that is, the entire material wealth, is quite unimportant compared with the living process of production and that, in fact, this wealth has no value in itself, but only insofar as it is a factor in the living production process. In doing so, he underestimates somewhat the value which the labour of the past has for the labour of the present, but in opposing economic fetishism this is quite all right.” (p 276) 

Marx quotes extensively from Hodgskin where he tries to make the point that a large part of the effects attributed to circulating capital are actually attributable to “the simultaneous coexistence of living labour.” (p 276) 

Hodgskin points out that all of the bread consumed by workers is only ever produced a few hours before they buy it, and so the idea that capitalists have accumulated a large supply of it, as variable-capital, available as wages, is false. Rather than existing as such a stock of past labour, it is mostly the result of simultaneous production, by coexisting labour, i.e. bakery workers are currently and simultaneously labouring to produce the bread consumed today by workers, who, for example, are also undertaking simultaneous, coexisting labour producing coal that the bakery workers buy to heat their homes, or their employer buys to heat the bread ovens. 

Another example, Hodgskin says is milk, which has to be produced twice a day. And, the grass that the cows eat, is continuously growing, during the year, rather than having to be bought in one large amount. Clothes too are only prepared as a small stock, at any one time, because otherwise the capitalists would find that, if they hold them for any length of time, they would be eaten by moths. Today, they would be feared to be out of fashion. 

And, Hodgskin makes the point that it is not the fact that the capitalist has any such stock of commodities that explains the profit, but the fact that they have command over immediate labour. 

““ …all the effects usually attributed to accumulation of circulating capital are derived from the accumulation and storing up of skilled labour; and […] this most important operation is performed, as far as the great mass of the labourers is concerned without any circulating capital whatever” (loc. cit., p. 13).” (p 278) 

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Sign Momentum's Open Letter On BBC Bias

Tonight, the BBC's Panorama will air another hatchet job on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.  Anyone reading my blog knows that I am far from uncritical of Corbyn's politics over Brexit, and other matters, including his support for various reactionary petit-bourgeois nationalist movements and regimes, on the basis purely of their supposed "anti-imperialist" credentials.  Like Chris Williamson, I think that Corbyn and the leadership's failure stand up to all of the manufactured outrage over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, which at most amounts to around 0.06 of party members, has simply encouraged the Tories, and right-wing Labour MP's, hostile to Corbyn to use it as a stick with which to beat him and the left in the party.  Nevertheless, Corbyn, and more importantly, the movement that was created in 2015 to get him elected Leader, is the most significant and hopeful development in the party in the last 75 years of its history.  That is why the Tories and the Tory media, along with their allies amongst the Labour Right and Soft Left of the Labour Party are so desperate to reverse it.

That is why, whilst not for a moment ceasing to criticise Corbyn for his reactionary politics over Brexit, and even less criticising the Stalinist cabal of advisers that stand behind him that encourage these reactionary politics, we should defend Corbyn against the attacks from the Tories and their representatives in the Tory media, aided and abetted by the Labour Right who are feeding these attacks for their own political ends.  Momentum, which itself has contributed to some of these problems as a result of its own undemocratic structure as a company owned by Jon Lansman, rather like the Brexit company has been created by Nigel Farage, and because of its own willingness to accommodate the Labour Right over questions of anti-Semitism, and deselection of MP's, has published an Open Letter to Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall, complaining about the biased nature of the programme it is proposing to put out tonight.

They are asking people to sign the open letter, and I would also encourage everyone to do so, by going to the Open Letter, and clicking the button.  As Momentum say in the letter, and in their video, John Ware has a history of bias against Corbyn, not to mention a series of instances where his objectivity has been shown to be in question, even leading to him having to pay out legal damages.  He was criticised by the BBC's own magazine for a report he produced in the 1980's, about supposed left-wing Labour Councils.  The magazine said, his documentary had abandoned “any attempt at a reasoned, detached, analytic or investigative programme”.

So, its hard to see why the BBC chose to allow him to produce this documentary other than in order to pursue its own campaign against Corbyn and the Labour Party.  The documentary does not come as an isolated event.  The BBC and Labour Right have kept up a continued, drip-drip propaganda offesnive against Labour and Corbyn over the question of anti-Semitism for months, as they have clearly identified that as a useful lever with which to prise open the coalition of support for Corbyn, itself encouraged as Williamson has said, by the failure of Corbyn himself, and the Labour Leadership to confront the anti-Semitism smears, which merely facilitates the claims of the Labour Right that Labour really does have a significant anti-Semitism problem.  Its no coincidence that a couple of days before the showing of the documentary, three right-wing Labour peers, chose that particular moment to resign the Labour whip, and to run to the media to announce it.  That enabled all those right-wing Labour MP's, like Margaret Hodge, who have still not been able to bring themselves to accept that Corbyn was elected Leader, to also run to the media and spread their accusations against him without fear of challenge or being fact checked.

It has also been accompanied by a media campaign that has sought to confuse and conflate Labour seeking to prevent the disclosure of personal data in relation to individuals charged with anti-Semitism, with the question of Non-Disclosure Agreements used to gag whistle blowers.  Even the mild mannered Andy MacDonald, was led to be visibly angered by the misinterpretation of that by the BBC's Jo Coburn on Politics Live, today.  The continued attacks by right-wing Labour MP's such as Hodge, Mann, Sweeting et al, over the last year or so, shows just why all of these right-wing MP's should have been deselected years ago, and why conference needs to go beyond reforms to trigger ballots to the reintroduction of mandatory reselection of MP's.

There is a problem of anti-Semitism in society, and as part of society, therefore, in the Labour Party too.  But that problem inside the Labour Party is infinitesimally small, however you measure it.  It represents, at most, 0.06 of party members, and compared to the level of anti-Semitism in the Tory Party, and in wider society, it is also small.  There is a saying that "Just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean the CIA isn't following you."  Similarly, just because the Labour Party does contain some people who are anti-Semites, it does not mean that enemies of the Labour Party, and more specifically of a left-wing Labour Party, are not using that fact, by inflating its significance as a means of destabilising the Party.  But, likewise, just because enemies of the party, and of the Left are attempting to destabilise it, and to undermine the Left in the Party by such tactics, does not mean that there is not a problem that should be addressed.

In reality, had Corbyn and his supporters dealt with the Labour Right as soon as he was elected Leader, we would not have this problem today, or not to the same degree.  The Labour "insiders" appearing in the Panorama hatchet job, are all apparently disgruntled, right-wing former Labour bureaucrats.  Deselecting right-wing Labour MP's, Councillors and apparatchiks will always mean that there is a one off, pool of such malcontents eager to spread shit via the Tory media, but as time goes by, their voices become ever more irrelevant, and seen as the sour grapes they actually are.  Yes, the BBC, Sky and other media outlets, continue to flood our screens with the MP's and advisers of yesteryear, as though they still represented something, but they don't, and increasingly everyone can see they don't, especially as alternative social media outlets provide a voice for those that the mainstream media tries to silence, and distort.

It illustrates once again, why we need a democratically controlled, Labour Movement mass media so that w can simply bypass the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, and the rest of the Tory media.

Darroch Resignation Encourages Trump and Other Tyrants

The decision of Sir Kim Darroch to resign as British Ambassador to the US, following the childish attacks on him by Donald Trump, is being portrayed as the act of a professional diplomat, acting to prevent embarrassment and discomfort for the government he represents.  Maybe, but the consequence of his actions is the opposite of what any professional diplomat should seek to achieve.  Darroch's resignation will now prompt a flood of triumphalist tweets from Trump, about how he had forced the sacking of a "wacky", "pompous" "idiot".  It will only encourage Trump to engage in further self-adulation, and further bullying of like manner.  It simply encourages Trump in the belief, that is not itself without foundation, that Britain, and even more so, when it is outside the EU, is just a colony of the United States that he can force to do his bidding simply by launching into a Twitter storm.

What is worse is that the message Darroch's resignation sends will now go out, not just to Trump, but to every other crackpot ruler, and tyrant across the globe that if Britain does something they do not like, or some British representative says something they do not like, all they have to do is to say they will not deal with their diplomats, and Britain will meekly comply and withdraw them.  This is just another example of the way Brexit, rather than bringing bak sovereignty to Britain, simply reduces its standing in the world, and makes it a plaything of larger and more powerful states across the world, the number of which is growing larger, as Britain's economy and status continues its long-term decline.

According to the FT, Darroch has resigned after he watched the debate between Johnson and Hunt, in which Johnson made it clear that he was prepared to throw Darroch and other diplomats under the bus, rather than defend them against attacks from Trump.  This shows not only Johnson's spinlessness, but his political and diplomatic incompetence, as has previously been witnessed in relation to his time as a bumbling Foreign Secretary in the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, his recital of colonial era Kipling poems and so on.  It shows that Britain after Brexit will be desperate to whore itself out to Trump, or anyone else it thinks it can get some succour from, as with its sales of arms by prostrating itself before the vile Saudi regime.

So much also for the idiotic ideas of the Lexiters that Brexit would somehow open up a landscape of progressive development rather than this continued slide into the reactionary sewer, and occupying the role of straight man to Trump and Bojo's clown act.