Prof. Dr. Franz J. T. Lee, ULA, Mérida, Venezuela.
Marx' solution to Wall Street: Abolition of the wages system!
By Franz J. T. Lee
Once upon a time, across many billions of earth years, void of men-gods
and god-men, also of the Moloch of labor, on Mother Earth, when
'billions' still were expressing sane, natural, lively relations, and a
myriad of healthy, cosmic creations could be anticipated, it was truly
possible to invent, experiment and hope. The planet was not yet
suffocated by the corporate, imperialist stench of ruling class smog,
power, greed, avarice and arrogance. The sacred Planetary Trinity,
natural being, social existence and emancipatory transcendence, humans,
flora and fauna, were not yet threatened by capitalist technology and
industrialization, by the quagmire of making it, of making billions of
profits by means of mammoth speculation on the global stock markets,
carried out on the scourged and scorched backs of the poor, toiling,
global wage slaves.
Over the last two centuries, capitalism and imperialism have actually
succeeded seriously to threaten this gigantic, galactic process, this
experimentum mundi, and possibly to annihilate it by means of mortal
weapons of mass destruction and by horrendous nuclear wars.
Decades ago, in 1949 already, about our zeitgeist, the Marxist
philosopher, Ernst Bloch (1885-1977), ... who stated that nowadays a
Marxist can only be a philosopher, and that a philosopher can only be a
Marxist, ... stated that epochs of radical social transition, like the
one that we are experiencing now, in the first place sensitize the
dialectical genius, that is, the great educator.
Much earlier, in 1875, in his work, Dialectics of Nature, Friedrich
Engels explained the destiny of the current world capitalist crisis,
generated by an inexorable maelstrom of competition, centralization and
In his writing "The Part Played by Labor in the Transition from Ape to Man" Engels warned:
"Man alone has succeeded in impressing his stamp on nature, not only by
shifting plants and animals from one place to another, but also by so
altering the aspect and climate of his dwelling place, and even the
plants and animals themselves, that the consequences of his activity
can disappear only with the general extinction of the terrestrial
(See: http://www.marx2mao.com/M&E/PPL76.html )
The international ruling class elites fear that with the guidance of
Marxism, the majority of mankind would throw off the imprinted cultural
chains and intellectual shackles of the age-old mental holocaust, would
emancipate themselves from religious mind and body control, and at
last, also in the United States of America, would begin to act and
think of, by and for themselves. According to neo-con and Nazi strategy
the workers should not learn to think independently, to theorize, to
philosophize for themselves; ruling class controlled education for
barbarism is still condemning millions to genocidal extinction.
However, the workers of whole America is awakening; for this reason the
Yankee army is on the streets, to apply the terrorist patriot acts
against any emergent internal class enemy.
Without scientific and philosophic socialism, without the dialectical
method of Marxism and without revolutionary praxis and emancipatory
theory, in Venezuela and elsewhere, within the Bolivarian Revolution
and the Permanent Revolution, it will be well nigh impossible to
understand what is going on at Wall Street, in the Nuclear Club, in
space colonization and militarization, in global fascism, in fascist
Let us now look at the transhistoric truth of Marxism and its revolutionary actuality and emancipatory topicality.
In 1848, shortly after the bourgeois industrial revolution in Britain,
in the first theory of globalization, in their famous 'Manifesto of the
Communist Party', Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels
(1820-1895) scientifically predicted that the "gigantic means of
production and of exchange", generated by capitalist society would
eventually end up in a total anarchic economic chaos, in uncontrolled
"Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of
exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic
means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no
longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has
called up by his spells..."
Over the last 160 years, as already explained as tendential economic
laws of the growth of capital, resulting from dialectical
contradiction, competition, centralization, monopolization and merging,
in Marx' magnum opus (comprising three volumes) 'Das Kapital'
(published between 1867 and 1885), ... also by other Marxist works,
like Rudolf Hilferding's 'Finance Capital' (1910), Rosa Luxemburg's
'Accumulation of Capital' (1913), Lenin's 'Imperialism, Highest Stage
of Capitalism, (1917) and Trotsky's 'Permanent Revolution', but also by
modern Marxist works of Ernest Mandel or Alan Woods ... this gigantic
financial crash logically had to come at the accumulation level of
globalization, with all its global terrorist traits, militarization,
genocide and fascism. Also it is crystal clear who all have to bail out
their divine warlords.
The North American middle class currently has lost over 18 million
homes; outside on the streets, these latest impoverished outcasts are
being confronted by the brutal army; as Marx predicted in 'Capital',
they are being shaken by the geometric progressive explosion of global
pauperization, while the upper ruling elites are merging and devouring
Yes, revolutionary, scientific and philosophic Marxism, the dialectical
negation of capitalism, has not lost its praxical and theoretical
creative powers. With some examples we will demonstrate the topicality
of Marxism in the 'modern' and 'post-modern' era, in globalization.
Marx and Engels went 'post-modern' in 1848 already, at the beginning of workers' class struggle.
Later on June 27, 1865, in an English address 'Value, Price and
Profit' to the General Council of the First International, Marx
explained that due to unpaid, stolen labor time, socially exploited
wage workers are carrying the whole burden of capital realization and
thus are guaranteeing all the financial risks and speculative
adventures of their notorious capitalist bosses and the reckless,
criminal financiers. Now the American workers have to sacrifice more
than $700 billion tax money to rescue speculative imperialist
gangsters, to save capitalism from total collapse.
At the moment this century-old capital crime has become an open
international secret; Wall Street is letting the cat out of the bag of
criminal capital accumulation, as was explained long ago by the
'obsolete' Karl Marx.
Capitalist ideologues claim that Karl Marx is outdated and that Plato
and Aristotle are en vogue. However, believe it or not, the 'Wall
Street Journal' nowadays considers Karl Marx as an erudite authority
worthwhile to quote. Nonetheless, it commits the same ideological
mistake as so many other international mass media: it publishes only
what suits its class interests, that is, only half-truths.
Three years ago, on May 13, 2005, the front page story headline of the
'Wall Street Journal' read: "As Rich-Poor Gap Widens in the U.S., Class
Mobility Stalls". In the last analysis, the article was saying that the
United States as a country of infinite social mobility and as the land
of a million golden opportunities was and is a pure ideological myth.
It claimed that "even Karl Marx accepted the image of America as a land
of boundless opportunity. . . . 'The position of wage laborer,' he
wrote in 1865, 'is for a very large part of the American people but a
probational state, which they are sure to leave within a longer or
shorter term.' (Marx)"
However, the editor of the 'Wall Street Journal' did not read Marx'
address to the end, that is, he did not read the part which concerns
the Marxist emancipatory solution of the current American crisis, of
global depression and, of course, the Bolivarian Revolution in
Venezuela and South America.
Categorically, Marx stated:
"They (the workers) ought to understand that, with all the miseries it
imposes upon them, the present system simultaneously engenders the
material conditions and the social forms necessary for an economical
reconstruction of society. Instead of the conservative motto, "A fair
day's wage for a fair day's work!" they ought to inscribe on their
banner the revolutionary watchword, "Abolition of the wages system!"
Let us look now at another quotation that directly concerns the actual global crisis.
Guess who is the author!
"In a system of production, where the entire continuity of the
reproduction process rests upon credit, a crisis must obviously occur —
a tremendous rush for means of payment — when credit suddenly ceases
and only cash payments have validity. At first glance, therefore, the
whole crisis seems to be merely a credit and money crisis. And in fact
it is only a question of the convertibility of bills of exchange into
money. But the majority of these bills represent actual sales and
purchases, whose extension far beyond the needs of society is, after
all, the basis of the whole crisis. At the same time, an enormous
quantity of these bills of exchange represents plain swindle, which now
reaches the light of day and collapses; furthermore, unsuccessful
speculation with the capital of other people; ... "
Could it be Henry Paulson? Or some neo-con 'think tank'? Let us give
more data and facts about the current speculation at Wall Street!
"... finally, commodity-capital which has depreciated or is completely
unsaleable, or returns that can never more be realized again. The
entire artificial system of forced expansion of the reproduction
process cannot, of course, be remedied by having some bank, like the
Bank of England, give to all the swindlers the deficient capital by
means of its paper and having it buy up all the depreciated commodities
at their old nominal values. Incidentally, everything here appears
distorted, since in this paper world, the real price and its real basis
appear nowhere, but only bullion, metal coin, notes, bills of exchange,
securities. Particularly in centers where the entire money business of
the country is concentrated, like London, does this distortion become
apparent; the entire process becomes incomprehensible; it is less so in
centers of production."
Yes, you guessed correctly, the author is Karl Marx.
The text can be found in Capital, Volume 3, Chapter 30, Money-Capital and Real Capital.
With reference to the above text, and concerning its analytic relevance
for the current North American financial fiasco, in an excellent
article "World capitalism in crisis ", Alan Woods explains:
"The bankers, who yesterday were prepared to buy large amounts of debt
from each other, are no longer prepared to do so. Distrust and
suspicion has become general. The old easy-going optimism has been
replaced by a miserly attitude to borrowing and lending. The entire
banking system, upon which the circulation of capital depends, is
grinding to a halt. Unless and until all the bad assets are removed,
many institutions will still lack sufficient capital to extend fresh
credit to the economy."
Surely, Marx described this specific stage in the capitalist economic cycle long ago:
"It is clear that there is a shortage of means of payment during a
period of crisis. The convertibility of bills of exchange replaces the
metamorphosis of commodities themselves, and so much more so exactly at
such times the more a portion of the firms operates on pure credit.
Ignorant and mistaken bank legislation, such as that of 1844-45, can
intensify this money crisis. But no kind of bank legislation can
eliminate a crisis." (Alan Woods, ibid.)
What produced the Wall Street crisis inter alia is the merciless
battle, the greed of mongrels and moguls to grasp trillions of
dollars, as much as possible of workers' stolen life energy, of unpaid
labor time, of speculative, fictitious fiat money. The capitalist
vandalism on earth has reached its outer limits; the whole thing has
become a huge soap bubble. It could burst any moment, and the
apocalyptic consequences would tax our very human imagination to its
very intellectual limits too.
In conclusion, it remains to say that profound social crises need
radical solutions. Our epoch is not an epoch of the transition of one
mode of production passing into another mode of production. It is the
global, globalized end of all modes of production. It is the dawn of an
exodus, of an 'exvolution', which is the real, true new, a new logic, a
new science, a new philosophy, a homo novum.
Currently world events inexorably overtake each other, breathless we
register the momentous merging and concentration, the monopolization
and militarization. The repressive political and fascist terrorism of
these economic earthquakes are still to come. Their brutality will
surpass all cardinal and capital crimes known until now.
This is why all this has to be stopped now, it is the eleventh hour.
Over the last decade in hundreds of writings I ... and many others ...
have warned about the coming state of affairs. Emancipation is not a
one man revolution, it is a global task for life, it is not a matter of
catechisms or recipes. We learn emancipation in the emancipatory
process, in the fierce struggle itself.
So much to do, so little done!
It is the coming 'Age of Aquarius', it is creative, creating
emancipation. Marx showed us the anti-capitalist serpentine road, that
is, here and now what is to be done:
"Abolition of the wages system!"
With this Labor and Production would vanish into oblivion, that is,
Alienation is being sent to hell, to burn with capitalism in fire and
The rest, how to do, think and excel the New, is up to us. In the
meantime, here in Venezuela, our 'transjective' quo vadis is neither
bourgeois reform nor French revolution: it is "human emancipation"