« On endogenous preferences | Main | A case for inequality? »

May 07, 2013



No reason why the parasite can't eat the host's brain and take over!

George Hallam

Social democracy is parasitic upon communism.

Social democratic parties thrive in times of when the communist movement is growing. This is irrespective of whether their is 'abundance' or 'dearth'.

For example there the post-war economic situation was pretty grim in most of Europe (e.g. Finland, the UK) yet all manner of social democratic measures were implemented.

The period 1979 - 2007 was relatively prosperous yet social democratic measures were deemed impossible.

George Hallam

'there' not 'their'


I think a Marxist should say it is symbiotic, not parasitic.


Because, if Marx was right, social democracy helps prevent the collapse of capitalism. Without social democracy we fly rapidly towards a Marxian crisis of capitalism. Social democracy helps capitalists to take collective action to ensure that the workers' level of wealth is sufficient to purchase what is produced.


Couple of things:

1) Perhaps the answer to Baumol's Cost Disease is nationalise all the manufacturing and privatise all the services. Perhaps then we'd see how much of an artefact of our measurement/accounting systems BCD is...

2) I know you don't like hierarchical managerial stuff, but maybe the defect in capitalism is the investment end, rather than the operations end? That might be a logical conclusion when we consider that it isn't the hierarchical, managerialist firms who are in trouble, it's the wider system...

George Hallam

"Man muß eine besondere Veranlagung zum Selbstmord haben, wenn man vergißt, daß man die Sozialdemokratie in der Periode des Spartakismus sehr dringend gebraucht hat und nicht bebedennkt, "....

Theodor Wolff Berliner Tageblatt 15 February 1931

(Photomontage von John Heartfield mit einem Bild vom ermordeten Karl Liebknecht).

You have to have a special predisposition to suicide if one forgets that one has very much needed social democracy in the period of Spartacism .... (with a picture of the murdered Karl Liebknecht ).

George Hallam

"social democracy helps prevent the collapse of capitalism."

You seem to think that capitalism will collapse without human intervention.

This is false. Form an economic point of view there is no crisis, however serious, from which capitalism cannot recover. In fact, crises are a means of solving the economic problems of capitalism.

The threat to capitalism is political. It requires a conscious movement to end capitalism, i.e. communism.

Social democracy earns its bread by fighting the communist movement. This has nothing to do with ensuring "that the workers' level of wealth is sufficient to purchase what is produced." That would be a permanent job.

Once communism had been defeated social democracy was redundant.

As a US Senator said in 1990, the European welfare state was an aberration caused by the Cold War.


NOt sure capitalism has much chance of solving the ecological crisis.....ever.


And capitalism isn't parasitic??? Good grief, Charlie Brown!!

David Ellis

Yes the very best that a reformist social democracy can offer the working class now is: `A Labour Cut is Better Than a Tory Cut.' They will in fact participate in the rolling back of all the reforms granted during the post-War boom including no doubt the introduction of means testing for health services which will be the least of it.

Capitalism is a system that can no longer reproduce itself being globally monopolised, sclerotic and financially bankrupt apart from the cash hoarding corporations that refuse to part with their cash except to finance fascists and war and which therefore cannot sustain the parasites that live of it at least not in their old form.

Massinissa Massiniss

@George Hallam

If Capitalism is as perfect and impeccable as you say, then why were measures such as social democracy necessary in the first place?

Surely if Capitalism was perfect and fit everyeones needs, there would be no dissidents?


@ GH Perhaps it'll be easier to understand if you separate economic theory from governance theory.

Capitalism is inherently caustic to Democracy, which is inherently socialist. Social Democracy isn't the same as Socialism + Democracy. You must unbundle "socialism" - investment in society, from "Socialism" - a transitional state from Captilaism to Communism.

George Hallam

@ Massinissa Massiniss

"If Capitalism is as perfect and impeccable as you say.."

Did I say that?

I agree that if Capitalism were perfect then, there would be no dissidents (at least as in significant numbers).


Capitalism seeks to maximize its profits. That is it seeks to maximize its surplus production. It cannot help but do this. Social-democratic institutions consume this surplus, which if it were not consumed, prices would be driven below the level needed for profit, and capital, by its own excess productivity, would drive itself into crisis.

Since we have become a Plutocracy, or a Capitalocracy, so-called austerity instituted by that Plutocracy is destroying the social-democratic compact.
Society is commanded, managed, by its (real) Plutocratic rulers, to a level of consumption inadequate to consume the surplus produced by capital. This inadequacy increases with the control of the Plutocracy, here through the mechanism of ever increasing indebtedness, over social-democratic institutions. Thus we move from crisis to crisis, until the Plutocracy relents, which it cannot, or until the social-democratic pillar of society escapes the control of the Plutocracy, which it cannot.

As the crises can be expected to grow larger as the control of the Plutocracy over social-democratic institutions becomes solidified, that is as indebtedness inevitably increases, eventual collapse, barring divine intervention, is inevitable.


Capitalism is parasitic on social democracy, not the other way round. Capitalism dies when social anarchy rises. Without social democracy as the host capitalism has no firm structure upon which to extract profits. Unchecked and in the inevitable extreme capitalism will reduce society to anarchy.
The real problem is that capitalists are the human embodiment of unlimited greed which like a strong acid will erode the social stability and peace upon which capitalism wholly depends.

The comments to this entry are closed.

blogs I like

Blog powered by Typepad