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The New International, December 1944

James Barrett

The Anti-Marxian Offensive


From The New International, Vol. X No. 12, December 1944, pp. 406–411.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


IV – Supplementation

Fourth, Marxism, it is charged, has contributed to the chaos of our time by overemphasizing the “material” factors of historical causation and neglecting others, especially the one of psychological motivation.

(1) The “materialist” accusations against Marxism which fill the academic textbooks of the country are always supplemented by the authors’ usual “factors” theory purporting to be alternative explanations of historical causation. Whereas Marxism allegedly “oversimplifies,” “mechanizes,” “rigidifies,” etc., the critics, on the other hand, show the “complexity” of societal problems. [21] The usual result is a pot-pourri of “multiple factors” without any attempt to differentiate among those which are basic, derivative, correlative, or contingent. Such approach (under the guise of “objectivity”) absolves the critics, of course, from the responsibility of doing any explaining at all, let alone thinking.

(2) The so-called “psychological” approach employed by the revisionists in connection with Marxism expresses itself in two ways: an analysis of leadership-motivation (generally psychoanalytic, since this does not seem to impose too rigorous a discipline upon the unscientific litterateurs), and an indictment of those same leaders for not having acquainted themselves with the principles of mass psychology.

An example of the first method would be the various “case studies” which attempt to explain revolutionaries in terms of “frustration-aggression” patterns, e.g., Lenin’s revenge for his brother’s assassination, Marx’s attack upon capitalism because of his illness and disappointments, or almost any radical activity as a revolt against the “father-image.” To Edmund Wilson, for example, Capital is merely a projection of Marx’s “trauma,” and “commodities” the poetic image of Marx’s art, whose theme is not political economy but the “regenerateness of human nature,” an ideal derived from his “moral” forebears. [22] The alleged moral fervor of Karl Marx and of the socialist ideal in general has no objective validity for Wilson because it cannot be “ultimately proved” and therefore must be invoked by “moral and emotional methods.” (Barzun in similar vein even proves the superiority of the marginal utility theory over the labor theory of value by quoting Hamlet’s “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”) This is not only the dead-end of solipsistic psychology but of suprahistorical ethics. We are challenged to “prove” Kantian “ultimates” and asked to subscribe to an ethic which cannot even recognize objective scientific analyses, let alone deduce moral principles from them. Eastman, by the way, in connection with this Marxian “moralism” goes further than Wilson. Marx, he maintains, was not even concerned with “ideals” and therefore neglected (unlike Eastman himself, apparently) “standards of justice and rationality.” We must undo this harm today by returning to “common-sense,” the only guide in “social and political matters” (italics mine). [23] Hook, on the other hand, places a plus where Wilson and Eastman underscore a minus. Consistent, at least, with his latest revisionism, he contrasts the “moral passion and idealism” of the Second International with the immorality of the Bolsheviks, who (among all the derelictions generally imputed to them) never comprehended, it would seem, such pragmatic mysteries as the interdependence of “means and ends.”

An example of the second method is to be found, for instance, in Eastman’s indictment of Marxian leadership beginning with Marx himself. Eastman contends first, that the domination-submission pattern of human behavior has not been sufficiently understood by that leadership, especially the phase of submission which explains the rise of totalitarianism; second, that since competition and possessiveness are part of human nature, the concept of private property would seem to have psycho-biological validity; and third, that his psychological analysis must be correct, being substantiated by no less an authority than Gordon Allport.

  1. Had Eastman offered some esoteric theory whose subtlety or profundity were known only to the specialists or some well-known theory which Marxists had no justification for neglecting, there would have been some grounds for his accusations. But to indict men like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and others for not having recognized what any intelligent observer of human behavior has known for thousands of years is typical Eastman presumptuousness.
  2. His is an outmoded instinctivism or an animistic Freudianism which explains nothing since it merely succeeds in attributing universal traits to an undefined “human nature.” [24] Even a cursory encyclopaedism such as Eastman’s should at least be acquainted with those phases of modern biology, social psychology and anthropology, as well as of the neo-Freudianism (Home, Fromm, Dollard, etc.) with their emphasis upon human plasticity, adaptability, etc., and the general conditioning factors of environmentalism. It is only because Eastman has always chosen the easier task of writing loosely about “human nature” and not subjecting himself to the disciplines of historical materialism (which, incidentally, does not neglect psychological factors) that he has given us descriptions of totalitarian developments within Russia, for example, in terms so dear to the modern Machiavellians, viz., the mechanical ousting of one man or group by another. Thus, his “psychology” can only reduce itself to such profundities as “history repeats itself or “human nature never changes.”
  3. Two additional questions might be raised in connection with his “property instinct” and the “domination-submission” pattern. Do the property-less millions of the world exercise mass neurotic suppression or admirable self-discipline, and would not this pattern be a perfect justification for all exploitive societies, especially the totalitarian ones, since domination and submission would fulfill perfectly the psychological requirements of its inhabitants? [25]
  4. Eastman’s appeal to Allport for authority is unfortunate; one has only to quote this gentleman to see how suspect his judgments can be. Society, he maintains, can solve its problems if men will only try reconciling their “desires” (“security,” “decency”) instead of fighting about “demands.” It is really as simple as all that!

Fifth, Marx’s analysis of capitalism, the critics insist, even in terms of “pure” economic theory must be re-evaluated since it too (like his socio-political theories) has not stood the test of time.

It should be noted at the outset that of all the critics dealt with here only Corey and Schumpeter (perhaps Heimann), to my knowledge, are trained economists, and that they, as well as Turner and Bingham, have at least had the elementary decency to read original source material. In neither case, however, is such training necessarily an adequate preparation for understanding Marx. The others give the impression of having merely consulted either the customary textbook “annihilators” or the exegetic “interpreters” of Marxian economy. A complete counter-critique of these economic “refutations” could, of course, easily fill a volume. [26] We shall limit ourselves, therefore, to an examination of some of the more flagrant examples of distortion and misunderstanding, and shall in the case of Parkes, Schumpeter and Bingham, for instance, indicate the sterile programmatic conclusions flowing from their type of economic analysis.

(1) The major attack upon Marxian economy concerns itself, of course, with the “outmoded” labor theory of value. It might be remarked parenthetically that we are witnessing an ironical situation where a number of “socialist” theoreticians are admitting the untenability of the labor theory, whereas their anti-socialist opponents have had the good sense to recognize that such theory is quintessential to Marxism. Some typical anti-Marxian errors are as follows: a failure to differentiate or grasp the relationship between labor and labor power, production and consumption, labor power and price, production costs viewed from the standpoint of capitalist society as a whole and from that of individual capitalists, exchange-values and use-values, the law of value and the factor of supply-demand, capitalist categories treated by a conceptual analysis as stable economic data and those same categories correlated with the dynamics of socio-political tendencies. The failure, for example, to locate exploitation at the point of production permits a Turner to identify exploitation with such factors as disproportionality of wealth, intra-class conflict, and spoliation of consumers. It permits a Bingham to maintain that since value is created only in commodity exchange, the theory of surplus value or exploitation is fallacious. Profits, as all good bourgeois economists contend, are “merely” wages of management whose savings and investment furnish the motivating power behind production. Parkes, in confusing value, price, supply and demand, etc., tells us at one point that value is the expression of supply and demand, but he also informs us at another point that labor is most socially useful which has produced the most profit, the “labor in which there is the largest margin of profit between the value which is added to society and that consumed by its laborers.” Or, that the fall in the production of goods during the depression depended upon their prices. Aside from his inability to go beyond “prices” to more fundamental causal factors, he is, like many other critics, knocking down straw men, since Marx never contended that all goods during stagnation behaved similarly.

To take another example: Parkes, Drucker, Chase, Bing-ham and Barzun (understanding nothing of exchange and use-values, cost or price) maintain that our machine civilization has, in the words of Drucker, repudiated the “entire Marxist creed” which may still have some appeal to pre-industrial countries where labor is the primary source of wealth. And Hook and Turner agree with Barzun that the. theory of surplus value is only an instrument of “social agitation” which, he adds, also denies “consciousness” and “will” to the worker who may actually “prefer” to work under capitalist “contracts.” The economic status of the worker, in other words, depends purely upon a “freedom” which permits him to choose or reject, to work or travel, etc., and not upon an alienation which actually divorces him from the means of livelihood.

Marx, according to Turner and Schumpeter, did not consider the factor of differentiated labor, and Schumpeter adds that labor cannot be treated as a commodity, since such an approach implies that working men like machines, are produced on the basis of a “rational cost-calculation.” Once again a confusion of labor, labor-power, and use-value. In the first place, it is the critics and not Marx who mechanistically conceive of different kinds of labor producing different quantities of goods and values. They do not divide labor into its abstract and concrete forms. The various concrete forms (skilled, semi-skilled, unskilled) are merged into the total un-differentiated abstract human labor of total society which at a given level of production determines the total social value of all commodities. Moreover, their static interpretation has prevented them from grasping the fluid character (constantly stressed by Marxian economy) of the productive processes revealed most dramatically under the imperatives of war conditions: accelerated centralization, the rapid shiftings of production units, the intensified training of skilled labor, etc. In the second place, as to “rational cost-calculation,” a distinction should be drawn between that which is produced and that which is utilized. The obvious fact that machines are produced differently from human beings tells us nothing. What is important is that the productive process, including the variables of the market, determines the calculations of machines and of labor power, the latter incidentally being in a constant state of “reproduction” via the industrial labor reserve.

It can be readily seen even from these few examples that the critics have been able to make out a case for themselves by either disregarding or miscomprehending Marxian nomenclature, by abstracting economic categories out of their interrelated context, by divorcing the economic from the social and political factors inherent in capitalist society, and by treating that society as though some transcendental laws had guaranteed its eternal stability. The reason why any fuller discussion of these as well as other distortions found throughout anti-Marxist literature, would necessitate a separate study is that we are dealing here with illustrations typical of certain schools of bourgeois economic theory. These “refutations” are, in spite of a professed originality, mere repetitions, for instance, of Marshall, Boehm-Bawerk, Cassel, Mitchell, Von Mises and others, no one of whom has ever transcended the limitations of the capitalist orbit. Speaking of capitalist economists, Marx observed in The Misery of Philosophy that they are like theologians for whom there are only two kinds of religion, that of others which was man’s invention, and that of their own, which was inspired only by God.

(2) Joseph Schumpeter, however, has had the imagination to visualize the possibility of “socialism” (a variation, though, of his own). Moreover, he has even offered a theory to explain the probable demise of capitalism. Before attaining prominence in this country he was a widely-recognized authority for many years on the Continent. Even in his early association with the Austrian school of subjectivism he showed himself to be, if not an original, at least an unorthodox economist. Realizing that a science of economics could not be based upon pure psychological motives, he tried in his first book [27] to formulate in terms of mathematics and social “physics” an objective science similar to the attempts of the Mechanistic School in sociology. His specific datum was market-behavior. Beginning with his next work [28], he abandoned the mathematical approach since, as he discovered, it was too formalistic a conception to deal with the dynamic nature of society. The substituted technique was to be “accurate description,” (the Karl Pearson ideal of all bourgeois science). In his following study while continuing to preoccupy himself with the market mechanism, he also attempted to modify his idea developed in The Theory of Economic Evolution, explaining the driving force behind capitalist production. Capitalist rationale in the earlier analysis was to be sought in the psychological orientation of the bourgeoisie, its audacity, initiative, its sporting propensity for taking chances and accepting innovations. In the later book, as well as in the present, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, he adds the “profit” motive to the capitalist’s “daring.” We are emphasizing those factors in his earlier works which have specific relevance to the book under discussion.

It is interesting to note in passing that in spite of voluminous details concerned with savings, investment, profits, etc., Business Cycles succeeds, like similar “equilibrium” economics, in explaining nothing; what it does do is describe in almost reflex fashion the cyclical fluctuations of capitalist development. In his analysis, stagnation (merely a temporary interruption) results from some maladjustment never clearly explained; at times he seems to indicate an inherent capitalist exhaustion, while at other times he stresses equally mysterious factors “extraneous to the capitalist mechanism itself.” Capitalist “innovations” (technical-productive and imperialist) are responses to periods of non-profitability. Not only is capitalist crisis, however, never explained, but we also never learn the reasons for the capitalist’s “daring.” Apparently like capitalism itself, it is to be accepted as an irrefutable datum. We are informed further that if the capitalists are to succeed in bringing us continued abundance, they must not be terrorized by a meddling Roosevelt administration which is more concerned with creating a Service State catering to unemployed than helping its audacious entrepreneurs (von Mises’ recent paean to laissez-faire, Omnipotent Government, follows a similar logic). However, if the capitalists themselves do not accept their responsibility to their own class, they shall probably be dispossessed by some managerial class who will administer the “socialist” state. After referring to Marx as a “prophet” and “genius” and describing the “economic interpretation of history” as “one of the greatest individual achievements of sociology to this day,” Schumpeter proceeds (like many other critics who begin by praising Marx) to such ridiculous and self-contradictory evaluations as to make one dubious about Marx’s “greatness” and his own international reputation.

  1. For example, the “neo-Marxian (Marx himself, we are informed by all the critics, never dealt with monopoly or imperialism) description of cartelization is infantile in its catering to popular misconceptions about “big business influencing foreign policy.” Imperialism is refuted merely by a categorical denial of the class struggle and a refusal to cope with the validity of Marxian doctrine regarding accumulation, centralization, concentration, the falling rate of profit, the struggle for markets, etc., and yet he adds, “production is incidental to the making of profits”! Moreover, Marx’s theory of social classes is unacceptable because it defines “individual and group-wise power in purely economic terms.” [29] What has happened then to that “greatest achievement of sociology”?
  2. It is somehow difficult to reconcile Schumpeter’s “audacious” capitalists with the picture of frightened business men running to Washington ever since 1933 for periodic government intervention and protection. The inconsistency is Schrumpeter’s, of course, and does not apply to the Marxian analysis which assumes a basic class agreement between business and government since the latter is the coercive instrumentality of the former. Neither does the concept of business enterprise free from government regulation and protection have historical validity because such absolute separation never existed either in early American or in English and Continental history, e.g., English government intervention in behalf of industrial against mercantile capital, protectionism in Germany, etc. Whereas in the early days governmental measures were necessary for the development of progressive capitalism, such actions today have as their aim the buttressing of a moribund imperialist structure. [30]
  3. His interpretation of capitalist crisis merely in terms of temporary technical readjustments is similar to the sociological approach, for example, of Ogburn’s “culture lag” or Chapin’s “synchronous culture cycles.” These are attempts to correlate “material” and “non-material” aspects of culture. Since Schumpeter’s psychological factors of “daring,” “inventiveness,” would seem to indicate “non-material” factors as causative, he would have to validate his theory by studying specific periods pf history; establishing exact causal relationships between the two aspects of culture; indicating the rapidity, intensity and pervasiveness of changes in both, etc. – all of which he does not even begin to cope with. Such superficiality accounts for his statement that a society may be “fully and truly socialist and yet be absolutist or democratic, aristocratic or proletarian, theocratic or atheistic, belligerent or pacific, nationalist or internationalist.”

(3) A word should also been mentioned in connection with the kind of economic criticism levelled at Marx by a “socialist” adversary, Eduard Heimann (an evaluation of other “socialists” such as Langer, A. Lerner and Lederer must be reserved for a separate article.

  1. Heimann tells us that the labor theory of value is “logically untenable and inapplicable to the practical problems arising within capitalism.” When he proceeds to prove his point, however, he commits such typical fallacies as the following: he repeats the charge that technological production has invalidated the labor theory, since, according to Marx, profits are to be mechanically correlated only with the number of workers employed. Like Schumpeter he refers loosely to labor-saving techniques, the growth of aggregate capital, a fall in the general rate of profit, imperialism, etc., without seeing any connection at all between such factors and the theory of surplus value. Imperialism, for instance, to him is only a Marxian “political theory resorted to as a substitute for an economic theory of recovery.” Heimann at times approaches the problem of profits as though society were completely mechanized and at other times as though the labor theory had to be validated merely on the basis of productive developments within and among specific industrial units.
  2. He imputes to Marx a Ricardian theory of prices in which “prices are linked to labor values in a strict deduction.” Whereas Ricardo could not meet the challenge of price variation, Marx, in his analysis of prices of production, demonstrated that the average rate of profit was not in contradiction to the price mechanism, but that, as a matter of fact, the latter found its regulator in the former.
  3. Heimann, too, levels false accusation against Marx by maintaining that his theory concerns itself only with an analysis of cost and not of demand. In his discussion of demand (and of other allied subjects) Heimann shows us that not only has he missed the central point of Marx’s critique, viz., its analysis of capitalist tendencies but that his preoccupation with derivative matters is characteristic of those interested only in preserving the present system. This is made especially clear in his harmonistic contention that “both factors, capital and labor, contribute to their mutual product and each draws from the final value a short equivalent (?) to that contribution.” Aside from ignoring at this point the factors of capitalist reproduction, the creation of new values, etc., he apparently see no relationship between the statement just quoted and his other remark added by way of mere after-thought: “the reason why the laborer does not receive the profit is that he does not own capital.” Exploitation and profits, for instance, from Heimann’s viewpoint, are purely moral problems and are in no way explained by the Marxian “economic theory of value and price.”
  4. The profundity of his discussion can be judged, perhaps by his remarks in connection with the Marxian polarization of classes. Although this, as he admits, has taken place, there is an “indispensable qualification” to be noted. In transportation, for example, the individually operated automobile is making headway at the expense of the centralized railroad system!
  5. Heimann’s most surprising non sequitur is to be found in his criticism of the equilibrium economists, for it is here that he attempts to counterpose Marx’s work as the most “comprehensive and impressive model of what we have to do.” Ironically enough, in his own accurate summation of the Marxian position he is obviously unaware that Marx was directing his attack upon the precursors of Heimann’s revisionist thinking.

(4) It is to be expected, of course, that the various economic theories which are either fully formulated as alternatives to Marxism or merely stated by implication in the many criticisms levelled at it, should lead to definite political conclusions. Granted the premises of an economics which denies the class struggle, one must expect harmonistic and collaborationist political programs. Thus Schumpeter, for instance, calls for a post-war “ethical imperialism” of Anglo-American domination over the “social democratic” governments of small countries. In spite of certain “fascist features” which may attend the coming world, the general political pattern suggested is the only chance for “liberal socialism.” As for the electoral mass, which is incapable of action other than a “stampede,” it can best serve its purpose by not obstructing but accepting parties, machine-politicians and “bosses,” since these are the normal instrumentalities which “regulate” political competition in any democracy.

To use another example, Parkes in his The World After the War advocates a revived League of Nations in which the victorious powers are to maintain a “preponderance of military power” in order to perpetuate the “status quo.” While it is likely that the “business classes” will get the major share of the “distributions of rewards,” labor and agriculture will also be “better off.” (Italics mine.)

And Bingham chides the Marxists for addressing themselves to a non-existent working class instead of directing their attention to transforming all our “producers” into “consumers.” Don’t try to “equalize” wealth and the general income. All this is unnecessary as long as you can elect a government which by means of the usual Keynesian techniques will merely “control” the economy. The political model he suggests is the corporate state with its “industrial guilds.” In fact it can be so democratic and harmonious a society as to win the approval even of the Catholic Church whose encyclicals on the subject Bingham quotes with great enthusiasm. However, in his most recent book, The Practice of Idealism, he has made a startling discovery. Like Max Lerner, Dorothy Thompson, Harry Barnes, Julian Huxley, Harold Laski and others, who are also capitalizing on the ideological commodity of the day, viz., “revolution” (a counterpart to the millennial products of the post-war world, plastics, pre-fabrications, synthetics and international police forces), Bingham now detects not one but five revolutions. Along with the “revolutions” in technology, government, nationalism and religion, he senses that perhaps the “strongest force in the world today is the revolt of the common man.” It is a “revolution” though whose fundamental problems can be solved neither by the Right nor Left but by the “middle way” of governmental control of investment and planning, and on a world scale we are to make good our commitments to the Atlantic Charter granting to all peoples “free access to raw materials,” controlling cartels for purposes of expanding production, etc., etc. The Practice of Idealism, indeed, is a book which not only presents the nebulous program of typical bewildered liberalism but a book whose title aptly describes the Platonic character of non-Marxian thought which we have been considering throughout this essay.

V – Conclusion

(1) From the standpoint of academic criticism, the anti-Marxian offensive represents the traditional attempt to defend the status quo against a system whose theory and practice are directed toward the destruction of capitalism.

(2) From the viewpoint of revisionism, its criticism, in spite of various theoretical facades merely constitutes escapist techniques in order to avoid the painful necessity of confronting its own ethical and psychological derelictions.

(3) In both cases, whether in the apologetics of the former or in the rationalizations of the latter, we are justified in saying that the virulence of their attacks naturally coincides with or is in proportion to the intensity of the crisis affecting contemporary society.

(4) As far as explaining individual anti-Marxian behavior, however, this crisis must be considered only as a general framework of reference, a starting point for analysis, and not as an over-all formula describing the activity of every type of traducer. We have attempted to suggest some individual and group motivational patterns within the general conditioning factor of the capitalist framework.

(5) To accept the general for the specific in this case is not only to fall into illogicality or into a superficial psychology. It also prevents one from combating anti-Marxism programatically. Dwight Macdonald, for example, in commenting on the Dewey-Hook attack upon non-logical thinking, remarks that they are dealing only with a symptom, the cause being our “period of social frustration.” In the first place, Macdonald’s statement is really no significant explanation, since it is too inclusive a generalization. In the second place, it does not make clear whether “social frustration” refers to society exclusive of the obscurantist writers themselves or whether it describes the lives of everyone living in that society. In the third place, it fails to do justice to the varieties of religious and mystical personalities who have existed throughout different periods of history. Finally, it has no value as a programmatic weapon.

To Marxism there is little difference whether it is being attacked by the Catholicism of a Maritain or the “socialism” of a Hook (the technique for combating each tendency differs, of course). Even many New Leader articles, Daniel Bell’s, for instance, come close enough in their analyses to be described as “Marxist.” What is important, therefore, is not so much whether these writers deal with symptoms or causes, or what honorific banners they chose to travel under, but what political conclusions they draw and what practicable programs they support. For all their “Marxian” protestations, The New Leader, for example, always winds up behind the Democratic Administration. The road to power remains the key question.

(6) In spite of (or what is actually part of the same picture) the general “democratic” and “idealistic” nature of their ideology, the critics are nevertheless faced with the intractable realities of an irrational society. They are forced, therefore, to deny in practice what they always profess in theory, viz., the “free,” “automatic” market, the “fluid” relationships of classes, the “delicately-balanced” mechanism of the State, etc. While their ideological “refutation” of Marxian prediction and analysis continues unabated, their “programmatic” recommendations only confirm further the validity of the socialist alternative. No amount of economic, social, or political revisionism, whether in text books or in daily life, has ever succeeded in circumventing the law of value. Hence the futility of their “planned” economics, of their harmonistic sociology and of their “democratic” politics. The self-contradictory nature of the anti-Marxian offensive therefore, is merely an accurate reflection of the irreconcilable forces in our class society which will be solved only by the proletarian revolution.


21. Thackeray once recorded various rhetorical mistakes committed by grammarians in the very act of instructing others on correct usage. A study of anti-Marxian literature reveals similar inconsistencies. The typical cliches of absolutism, inevitability, dogmatism, etc., directed against Marxism can just as well be levelled against the critics themselves. Besides the psychological reasons for their behavior suggested at the beginning of this essay, one must also include as possible explanation the absolutistic character of traditional idealism.

22. Besides resorting to a racial theory in order to explain the Jewish quality of Marx’s compassion for the oppressed, Wilson’s point in stressing also the forces of Rousseauism and nineteenth century utopianism as sources of Marx’s ideas is an example typical of anti-Marxian analysis. Once show that Marx was not “original” (the bourgeois atomic preoccupation with uniqueness, individuality, etc.) and you apparently destroy, if not the validity, at least the force of his ideas. Thus this “psychologizing” has an ironical logic of its own: it begins in vacuo by probing the psyche and in the process finds itself with no such entity, but merely with a lifeless composite. Moreover, granted the behavior patterns assumed by these psychologists (who are equally susceptible to a similar kind of analysis), there are still the ideas of Capital or State and Revolution to be confronted even though their genesis may reside in glands, conditioned reflexes, or frustrations.

23. Only “common sense” triumphant can offer us a political ideal which warns us against “common ownership and state control.” Since this phrase refers to Russia he is not only guilty of the usual anti-Marxian duplicity by making Stalinism and Marxism synonymous, but he is also contradicting all his other indictments of Russian slavocracy wherein no “common ownership” was found to exist at all. Common ownership describes socialism, and “state control” within such framework could only mean governmental administration or military defense against alien elements internally or externally. “Common ownership,” naturally, is not what Eastman wants; his “common sense” demands that we “extend the democracy” which we now possess, a perfect program for political myopia.

24. Other anti-Marxists guilty of a similar approach are B. Russell and R. Niebuhr. The former posits a “power” principle and the latter an “egoistic” impulse which socialists have allegedly underestimated.

25. Eastman’s most ambitious attempt in applying his knowledge of technical psychology is to be found in his The Literary Mind.

26. For similar reasons this essay cannot concern itself with answering the innumerable examples of bald assertion, half-truth, historical distortion and falsification found throughout the literature of the critics we are disccussing.

27. The Nature and Content of Economic Theories (1908).

28. The Theory of Economic Evolution (1912, 1926).

29. Business Cycles, 2 vols. (1939). [Note by ETOL: There was no anchor for this footnote in the printed version of the text, so we have put the anchor in the most plausible position.]

30. This tendency to define capitalism purely in terms of its laissez-faire period naturally leads to political and economic misconceptions which see in monopoly capitalism not a logical development of its former period but an entirely new society. In our discussion of the State and of the Marxian theory of classes we pointed out that the critics had politically and socially misinterpreted the results of intra-class struggles and group expropriation among the bourgeoisie, for an emergence of a new or “managerial” class. Economically, those critics who refer only to laissez-faire characteristics as examples of “pure” capitalism fall into similar errors. To them the system of pre-war Germany or Italy was not capitalism but “industrial feudalism,” industrial serfdom,” an “integrated economy,” etc. (Neo-political and economic definitions, by equating capitalism with democracy, and serfdom with totalitarianism, have provided a “scholarly” rationale for support of the war). The presence of the “free” market and “free” labor are to the critics indispensable criteria of capitalism.(a) There it no qualitative difference between a “free” and a “controlled” market. The presence, absence, extent, or intensity of government intervention whether under laissez-faire or under monopoly is to be evaluated in terms of methods of class rule. “Integrated” economies which “regulate” the market, curb labor and intensify exploitation are attempting to compete against those who can still afford the ideological luxury of “unhampered” capitalism. The critics’ economic “open arena,” in which price-mechanisms of competing capitalists regularize market conditions, has become a museum piece. The emphasis has shifted from the domestic to the world market; markets are divided according to agreements, combines, and patent pools; prices are “determined” by trusts, administrative decree or government edict. But no matter how monopoly, centralization, concentration and cartelization may eliminate, distort and telescope certain functions of the earlier market, it still continues to reflect its class relations of owners and property-less. Under the law of value, labor power is still THE commodity being bought and sold and is subject to the same monopolized control as other products and materials. As for the “freedom” of labor (which to Marxists has always meant “freedom” from the means of production, rendering the laborer a “wage SLAVE”) what can such a concept mean now under conditions of mass unemployment, colonial servitude, intensified world exploitation and war regimentation, this last giving rise to another point of the critics’ “refutation.” (b) Viewed from the historical standpoint of the various stages of capitalism and from that of the international market, the mechanistic counterposing of the critics’ “politics ‘determines’ economics” becomes abstract and meaningless. Incapable of differentiating between ultimate economic and immediate socio-political causes and of comprehending the dialectical nature of a world system, they mistake the part for the whole. Totalitarianism, they argue, proves that the State “determines” the economy and in so doing also disproves Marx. Aside from their usual weakness of not defining the State, they are not even consistent in their logic. According to them a capitalist state under conditions of intensified war or military siege ceases to be capitalistic because the military are in control and the market is no longer regulated by the “equilibrium” of supply and demand. If they answer that these conditions are only “temporary” or “emergencies,” then they have failed to see that the socio-political techniques of “regulation” employed by the ruling classes in the totalitarian countries (as in ours) are also “emergency” measures to cope with the development of economic forces.

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